• Mt. Rainier, WA
  • Space Shuttle Endeavour/Radar
  • February, 2000

What do the colors represent?

The colors represent elevation, with higher elevation indicated by yellows, reds, and whites. This shaded relief image of Mt. Rainier was created using NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) version 3 1-arc-second data.

Measuring elevation using radar

During the STS-99 mission in February 2000, the Space Shuttle Endeavour carried two radars with two antennas at slightly different angles. Both radars sent out signals. Surface elevation (in meters) was calculated from the difference between the two radar signals. This technique is called interferometry.


The Earth Observing System Data and Information System is a key core capability in NASA’s Earth Science Data Systems Program. It provides end-to-end capabilities for managing NASA’s Earth science data from various sources—satellites, aircraft, field measurements, and various other programs.

Chlorophyll-a concentration in the Caspian Sea

Image captured on 26 July 2015, by the MODIS instrument on board the Aqua satellite.

Smoke and fires in Eastern Russia

Who uses NASA Earth Science Data?

Webinar - Distributing Real-Time GNSS Data at the NASA CDDIS

Snow in New Zealand

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