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NASA Unearths Lost City Underneath Oklahoma

Dec 02, 2016 04:45 AM EST

There are no limits to what science and technology can discover especially today. NASA satellites and observatories played a big role in a huge discovery here on Earth. An ancient lost city underneath Oklahoma was unearthed, thanks to the agency's instruments.

An ancient lost city was discovery underneath a forest believed to have been a refuge for native Americans. In order to make the discovery, NASA used its remote-sensing equipment called the LIDAR technology. Scientists used the instrument to analyze the site by zooming in on Oklahoma.

A careful analysis of the images led to the discovery of what is believed to be a 10,500-year-old community settlement. The area remained hidden until the NASA LIDAR technology was used to inspect the area.

To provide scientists with the data they needed to further study the area, NASA's LIDAR system called the Teledyne Optech Lidar produced a 3D representation of the ancient lost city in Oklahoma. The system is also capable of creating bare Earth versions for scientific purposes.

A Goddard Space Flight Center engineer, George Shaw further explained how the system worked. The light detecting and ranging LIDAR system use laser pulses that bounce back when it hits obstacles. The system then will calculate the time the pulses requires before it bounced back in order to determine the distance. The system has also been incorporated in various NASA projects such as the OSIRIS-REx, according to a report.

A team of scientists is already camping near the Beaver River to further delve deeper into the study of the ancient lost city found underneath, according to Daily Star. Without the help of NASA LIDAR, it would take longer for the scientists to locate the exact spot to search for signs of the ancient city that were abandoned by Native Americans.

"This innovative system helps scientists to see structures or features that were so overgrown that they wouldn't be obvious at all to someone on the ground," Paul LaRoque, president of Teledyne Optech special projects division, said in a statement.

LIDAR is capable of looking beyond the surface and inspecting thick layers of forestation in order to analyze the surface below and even beneath. NASA said this device has been instrumental for the agency's research and has already helped speed up a ton of researchers by allowing them to analyze structures faster.


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