The surface of the Ionian Sea beside the Calabrian coast of southern Italy appears in the picture like a fissured cloud. This TerraSAR-X image actually shows texture on the sea surface, which results from different wave heights, flow conditions, substances near the surface (such as algae) or oil pollution. Radar data can be used for identifying ships which illegaly dispose oil waste.
To the upper right, a ship can be seen whose wake follows it for approximately 30 kilometres across the entire image. On close examination, a bright reflection of the boat appears, offset a little from the direction of travel - this is a specific phenomenon of radar photographs - the Doppler effect - which can be used among other things to determine the speed of moving objects.
Credit: DLR, Astrium
Taken : 19 June 2007, 16:35:42 UTC
Resolution: approx. 15 metres
Mode: Stripmap Mode
Angle: 21.8 degrees; Orbit 70; ascending