Even in Science,There's More than One Side to Every Story

Every tale has more than one side or perspective. And so it is with NASA, which studies Earth science from different angles – from satellites, from aircraft, and sometimes from the ground. But somehow, no matter how many ways there are to view a place, there’s nothing better than being there.

Case in point: Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. The interlocking peaks of the canyon rim can top 9,000 feet – high enough that year-round flurries created this snow-capped winter wonderland captured by photographer James Van Gundy. The spectacular oranges, browns, reds, and yellows of the limestone and the unique rain- and frost-carved stone make the park a destination for more than 1.5 million tourists each year.

Those peaks offer breathtaking views of three states and 200 miles of visibility.

In contrast, a Landsat satellite image of the park, taken in 2006, tells a top-side story of streams and rivers and valleys that stretch out like the fingers of a child’s hand print. A host of new colors emerge, not apparent from the ground view. The greens of coniferous forests. The blues of lakes and the Tropic Reservoir.

To see more Web images from Earth Science Picture of the Day, click here.

To see more examples of the Image of the Day from NASA’s Earth Observatory, click here.

– Gretchen Cook-Anderson, NASA’s Earth Science News Team