15 Amazing Satellite Images Taken By the ASTER Thermal Emission Camera

They’ve just released three million taken since 1999.

NASA’s Terra spacecraft has been taking breathtaking images of Earth for 17 years using Japan’s Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER). ASTER’s images have the unique ability to capture land reflectance and surface temperature in the same image. It also merges two slightly offset pictures to create a 3-D effect, providing a unique understanding of environmental and geographical conditions.

Last week, NASA and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) released nearly 2.95 million of ASTER’s thermal emission images . In the slideshow above, GOOD highlights 15 of its most popular images of Earth’s noteworthy cities and geological phenomena.

Here’s are some galleries of Aster’s best shots .

All images courtesy of NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team