Space Radar Image of Reunion Island

Space Radar Image of Reunion Island
From NASA's Planetary Photojournal
This radar image shows the volcanic island of Reunion, about 700 km (434 miles) east of Madagascar in the southwest Indian Ocean. The southern half of the island is dominated by the active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise. This is one of the world's most active volcanoes, with more than 100 eruptions in the last 300 years. The most recent activity occurred in the vicinity of Dolomieu Crater, shown in the lower center of the image within a horseshoe-shaped collapse zone. Recent lava flows appear in shades of red, purple and orange. Light green areas are heavily vegetated forest, while much of the purple area near the coast is farmland. The radar illumination is from the left side of the image and dramatically emphasizes the precipitous cliffs at the edges of the central canyons of the island. These canyons are remnants from the collapse of formerly active parts of the volcanoes that built the island.
This image was acquired by the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X- Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on October 5, 1994. The image is centered at 21.2 degrees south latitude, 55.6 degrees east longitude. The area shown is approximately 50 km by 80 km (31 miles by 50 miles). North is toward the upper right. Colors are assigned to different frequencies and polarizations of the radar as follows: red is L-band horizontally transmitted, vertically received; green is L-band horizontally transmitted, vertically received; and blue is C-band horizontally transmitted, vertically received.
Image Title: Space Radar Image of Reunion Island
Catalog #: PIA01811
Target Name: Earth
Spacecraft: Space Shuttle

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  Last Modified On: Monday, December 18, 2000