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Purported Great Wall Image Turns Out to be River

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Old May 20th 04, 05:36 PM
Rusty B
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Default Purported Great Wall Image Turns Out to be River

Purported Great Wall Image Turns Out to be River

By Peter B. de Selding
Space News Staff Writer, SPACE.com

PARIS -- An embarrassed European Space Agency (ESA) on May 19
retracted an earlier assertion that its small Proba Earth observation
satellite took a remarkably clear image of China's Great Wall as it
orbited 600 kilometers overhead.

"The Great Wall's relative visibility or otherwise from orbit has
inspired much recent debate," the agency said in a May 11 press
release accompanying a satellite image purporting to show "a winding
segment of the 7,240-kilometer-long Great Wall of China situated just
northeast of Beijing."

The image turns out to have been of a river feeding into the Miyun
Reservoir. "Further acquisitions of the region are being planned with
other ESA instruments to investigate the subject further," ESA said in
a May 19 statement. The agency thanked professors from California
State University and the Fudan University of Shanghai for helping
correct the error.


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