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This great photo was taken by SIR-C/X-SAR. Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar is a joint U.S.-German-Italian project that uses a highly sophisticated imaging radar to capture images of Earth that are useful to scientists across a great range of disciplines. The instrument was flown on two flights in 1994.

SIR-C/X-SAR, part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, is studying how our global environment is changing. From the unique vantage point of space, the radar system will observe, monitor and assess large-scale environmental processes with a focus on climate change. The spaceborne data, complemented by aircraft and ground studies, will give scientists highly detailed information that will help them distinguish natural environmental changes from those that are the result of human activity. NASA will distribute the Mission to Planet Earth data to the international scientific community so that this essential research is available worldwide to people who are trying to make informed decisions about protecting their environment.

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