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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

It wasn't just a name that changed!

It wasn't just a name that changed!

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, September 5, 2015/Categories: natural history, photography, environment, adventure

                                  Animated 3D data representation of Denali, Alaska (credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, the name for America's highest peak was officially returned to its original native Athabaskan designation of Denali, or The High One. Fans of its previous political designation as Mount McKinley were not pleased one bit. However, what was missed in all the naming hub-bub was a more critical geographic matter...the height of the summit has altered by new measurements for the mountain.

Using advance space-scanning analysis provided by NASA, the USGS  determined  that Denali’s summit has an elevation of 20,310 feet, or ten feet lower than 1950's surveyors estimates. Satellite images from NASA's Landsat-8 and JPL's  ASTER  (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) digital mapping device have produced Denali's corrected and proper elevation. ASTER produced pairs of stereo images allowing improved coverage and spatial resolution of the mountain by increasing the horizontal and vertical accuracy of the bid-data maps.


                                         Daneli, Alaska  (credit: JPL ASTER mapping, NASA)

Even with a new designation and height, Daneli retains its designation as one of the world famous Seven Summits . That climbing goal that has been attained by less than 300 mountaineers. The 10 foot difference in elevation hasn't changed the fact of the mountain being known for its treacherous climate and extreme difficulty to summit.


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