A video enhancement system originally developed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., to study the Sun is now being used by law enforcement to help agencies investigate crimes.

The technology known as VISAR (Video Image Stabilization and Registration) can turn dark, jittery images captured by home video, security systems, and video cameras mounted in police cars into clearer, stable images.

NASA scientists Dr. David Hathaway and Paul Meyer, who study the sun and weather conditions on Earth, first became involved in helping law enforcement using their video enhancement expertise when they got a call from the Southeast Bomb Task Force of the FBI during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Ga. The two helped stabilize a poor quality video that furthered the investigation into a much-publicized bomb explosion at the games.

Now, the technology is available to any police agency to stabilize and enhance video, brighten dark pictures, and enlarge small sections of pictures to reveal clues about crimes.