Yep, the space shuttle. And yet, it must be geology related – I’m writing about it, aren’t I?
There’s a nifty piece over at the Planetary Society blog about the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Basically, they got near-global topographical maps of the Earth out of this – more detailed than ever before!
Topography is very important to geology. It helps you figure out what’s lurking beneath the surface, and what forces might have acted to create the surface in the first place!
There’s a bunch of nifty links at the bottom of the article, which point to several specific pages of what they’ve figured out with the data. I suggest looking at the one about the rift valley in Tanzania and Mount St. Helens, since both are near and dear to my heart. But all of the information is way cool. (And some, like the information about New Orleans and its flood, is way important too.)