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This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Most of Los Angeles is visible in this computer-generated, north by northeast perspective taken from above the Pacific Ocean. In the foreground, the hilly Palos Verdes Peninsula lies to the left of Long Beach Harbor. Farther back sit the various communities that comprise the greater
Los Angeles area. They appear as shades of gray and white. In the distance, the San Gabriel Mountains rise
up to separate the Los Angeles Basin from the Mojave Desert, which can be seen near the top of the image.
This 3-D perspective view was generated using topographic data from the Shuttle Radar Topography
Mission (SRTM) and an enhanced color Landsat 5 satellite image mosaic. Topographic expression is
exaggerated one and one-half times.
Landsat has been providing visible and infrared views of the Earth since 1972. SRTM elevation data
matches the 30-meter (98-foot) resolution of most Landsat images and will substantially help in
analyzing the large and growing Landsat image archive.
Elevation data used in this image was acquired by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) aboard
the Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched on Feb. 11, 2000. SRTM used the same radar instrument that
comprised the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) that flew
twice on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1994. SRTM was designed to collect 3-D measurements of the
Earth's surface. To collect the 3-D data, engineers added a 60-meter (approximately 200-foot) mast,
installed additional C-band and X-band antennas, and improved tracking and navigation devices. The
mission is a cooperative project between NASA, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency
(NIMA) of the U.S. Department of Defense and the German and Italian space agencies. It is managed by
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, Washington,
Size: View width 70 kilometers (42 miles), View distance 160 kilometers (100 miles)
Location: 34.0 deg. North lat., 118.2 deg. West lon.
Orientation: View north-northeast
Image Data: Landsat Bands 3, 2, 1 as red, green, blue, respectively
Date Acquired: February 2000 (SRTM)