NASA's Latest High-Resolution Photo: Has Google Maps Robbed Us Of Our Sense Of Wonder?

You're looking at one of the highest-resolution photos ever taken from the International Space Station, posted this week by NASA.

NASA says it has a resolution of two to three meters per pixel, due to (WARNING: geek talk incoming) using lens "doublers" to increase the optical magnification of camera lenses.

It also requires the astronaut to hold very still:

Active ISS motion compensation is also important; the astronaut must pan the camera by hand at just the right rate, keeping the object at the same point in the viewfinder. The technique involves bracing yourself against the space station bulkhead to prevent movement related to weightlessness.

We do like "the technique involves" leaning against a wall. Science!!!

Anyway, it's a very neat, detailed picture. A decade ago we would have been amazed. But in the age of Google Maps, where you can zoom in like a spymaster, the photo just doesn't seem to have the "oomph" it should.

View Larger Map

(Hit the "view larger map" link for best results.)

Or maybe we're missing some photographic magic that's just over our heads.

At any rate, if you could zoom in on the NASA photo we're sure you could see the Texans giving up a long bomb for a touchdown.

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