NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A laser beam is fired into the night sky from an observatory on the island of Maui, Hawaii, as part of a programme of research on crustal geodynamics. The beam is reflected back from a mirror on a sat- ellite orbiting Earth, to provide the first really precise measurements of continental drift. Several satellites are used for this research, & laser beams are fired at them from observatories on different continents, enabling scientists to build up a more exact picture of how the continents are moving towards or away from each other. Curving star trails are seen in the long-exposure photo.
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