17 May 2011
NASA’s Terra satellite has an instrument called ASTER, which stands for Advanced Space-borne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer. In non-geek that means it can sense infrared and visible light (this allows areas of vegetation to show up very well). Using multiple wavelengths, and even adding and subtracting one from another has allowed some incredible remote sensing images.
The shot below has to be the top of the heap up to now. The blue areas show the absence of vegetation, and the path of the EF 4 Tuscaloosa tornado is clearly visible. The image is courtesy of NASA meteorologist Gary Jedlovec, at NASA-MSFC here in Huntsville.
The full image is below