November 2014


cranberry bogs
Nov 27, 2014Looking at Cranberry Bogs with Landsat

Whether it's cranberry relish, cranberry fluff, cranberry sauce, cranberry salad, or cranberry salsa you'll be enjoying today, it's fun to see where cranberries grow. A series of commercial cranberry beds can be seen on this Oct. 6, 1999 Landsat [...]

William T. Pecora
Nov 18, 20142014 William T. Pecora Award Winners

This afternoon at the Pecora 19 conference in Denver, Colorado, the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA presented a group Pecora Award to The Landsat 8 Team. This group award recognizes a team that has made major breakthroughs in remote sensing Read [...]

Irons talking to Calandrelli.
Nov 15, 2014The Granddaddy of Them All

Xploration Outer Space aired an episode on satellites today. The premise of this episode was: "Thousands of satellites orbit the Earth everyday, helping us in ways that we may not even be aware of. But how are they made? Where do they live in [...]

Kamchatka volcanoes
Nov 14, 2014Kamchatka: The Erupting Peninsula

[by Adam Voiland, NASA Earth Observatory] Explorer Stepan Krasheninnikov first pointed it out in 1755: “Perhaps there is no other region in the world where so many volcanoes and hot springs are to be found in so small a space as here on [...]

Tesso Nilo National Park
Nov 11, 2014Tesso Nilo National Park

[Source: NASA Science Visualization Studio] Established in 2004, Tesso Nilo National Park in Sumatra encompasses an area of rich plant diversity and provides habitat for Sumatran elephants and tigers. A new series of Landsat images begins in [...]

USDA image of irrigated fields in an arid area
Nov 11, 2014Where the Water Goes

Landsat Science Team member, Rick Allen, will speak about using Landsat data for water management at the University of Idaho's GIS day on Nov. 19. Allen's abstracts states: The Landsat satellite series has proven to be a perfect match to the [...]

CA reservoir losses
Nov 10, 2014Visualizing the California Drought with Open Data

The U.S. Geological Survey's Center for Integrated Data Analytics (CIDA) has created an open source visual description of California's ongoing drought—one of the most severe droughts on record. Landsat data were among some of the many open [...]

Forum sharable
Nov 7, 2014Upcoming Forum: Changing Landscapes Observed From Space

This Saturday a NASA Climate Change Forum is being held at Howard Community College in Maryland. The forum will focus on urban, agricultural, and forest changes in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that result from development and climate change. The [...]

A Landsat thermal image with banding
Oct 31, 2014Landsat Ghostbusters—How the Landsat Calibration Team Caught a Ghost

Oct 31, 2014 • Shortly after the launch of Landsat 8, the calibration team noticed something strange: bright and dark stripes, or “banding” was showing up across certain images collected by the satellite’s Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). [...]

Charter logo
Oct 31, 2014International Charter’s Landsat Image Ingests for Oct. 2014

The International Charter is a system that supplies free satellite imagery to emergency responders anywhere in the world. The Charter concept is this: a single phone number is made available to authorized parties providing 24/7 contact to a [...]

L8 image of Juneau, Alaska
Oct 30, 2014Over 20 Million Landsat Scenes Downloaded

[Source: USGS Landsat] Since 2008, all Landsat data—archived and newly acquired—have been available for free download. On September 16, 2014, users worldwide downloaded over 14,000 scenes from the servers at the USGS Earth Resources Observation [...]

boat in the Sundarbans
Oct 29, 2014Mapping South Asia’s Mangroves

Oct 29, 2014 • Along the sea’s edge in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, the dense coastal population lives largely in symbiosis with the region’s mangrove forests. Mangroves—a vast network of intertidal trees and shrubs with [...]

fall foliage from Landsat 8
Oct 27, 2014Fantastic Fall Foliage

In this natural color Landsat 8 image of New York's Finger Lake region acquired on Oct. 24, 2014, fall foliage colors of orange, rust, and sage can be seen surrounding the vivid blue lakes, bringing to mind a line from L.M. Montgomery's Anne of [...]

One-millionth MSS image
Oct 23, 2014Looking Back—The Millionth MSS Image

From the archives: "This Landsat (MSS) image, acquired by Landsat 2 on May 27, 1981 (WRS-1 Path 186 Row 26), marks the one-millionth MSS image acquired by the Landsat satellites. The image covers a 115x115-mile (185x185-km) area of the steppe [...]

UNC paleontologists in the field
Oct 22, 2014Dinosaur GPS

[by Frank Graff, UNC-TV] Dr. Robert Anemone is the head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. But he works out of a pretty standard office. The administrative assistant greets you in the outer [...]

algae collection photo
Oct 21, 2014Bringing Climate Change Tools to Lower Mekong Region

[By Janet Anderson, Marshall Space Flight Center] NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a five-year project that will promote the use of satellite imagery to help Asia’s Lower Mekong region better predict and [...]

saturation event
Oct 14, 2014Keeping Cal

The Landsat calibration team published a number of papers in the SPIE Conference Volume 9218: Earth Observing Systems XIX. Our calibration team (or cal team) is a group of scientists and engineers who work together to ensure the scientific [...]

L8 pixel size comparison
Oct 8, 2014Know your Landsat: Understanding and Accessing Landsat Data

Interested in Landsat data discovery and access? Landsat satellites have been observing Earth's land surfaces consistently for over 40 years, providing the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land in existence. All Landsat data held [...]

Ceccato in Tanzania
Oct 1, 2014Field Notes: Climate, Health and the Maasai

[by: Pietro Ceccato, International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University’s Earth Institute] Earlier this year, I attended a workshop in Arusha, Tanzania to train research scientists from South Africa, Ivory Coast, [...]

Phytoplankton bloom of the coast of Alaska
Sep 29, 2014‘Climate Dance’ of Plankton

[By Kasha Patel, NASA Goddard] The greens and blues of the ocean color from NASA satellite data have provided new insights into how climate and ecosystem processes affect the growth cycles of phytoplankton—microscopic aquatic plants important [...]

abandoned farm in Montana
Sep 26, 2014Modeling a Changing American Landscape

[By Jon Campbell, USGS] Land change is a signature activity of human civilization. Since the dawn of history, people have purposefully converted natural landscapes to human-dominated areas. Typical motivations for land change are cultivation [...]

20 Million and Counting
Sep 19, 201420 Million and Counting

The USGS Landsat project reported on twitter today that Landsat data downloads have hit the 20 million marker this week: via @USGSLandsat "Free and open data: #Landsat reached 20 MILLION product downloads this week!! @USGSLandsat @NASA_Landsat [...]

Mirror set-up
Sep 4, 2014A Big Eye in the Mojave Desert

In 1980, artist Tom Van Sant created the world’s largest manmade image with the help of Landsat 3. Van Sant ‘s creation, commissioned by the Los Angeles Bicentennial Commission, used a series of precisely placed mirrors in the Mojave Desert Read [...]

Landsat coverage density
Sep 3, 2014A Call for Open Access Earth Observations

Sep 3, 2014 • This month in Nature, an emphatic plea to make more Earth satellite imagery free was made by Michael Wulder, a senior research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service and Landsat Science Team member; along with Nicholas [...]

Ivanpah Valley
Aug 28, 2014Sun Seekers Unite in Ivanpah Playa

On public land in the Ivanpah Valley near the California/Nevada border, the world's largest concentrated solar thermal plant sprawls across the desert landscape. Just on the other side of Interstate 15 (the long straight diagonal line) is the [...]

Landsat 2014 Agency Awardees
Aug 26, 2014Landsat 8 Workforce Garners 2014 Agency Awards

Much like a symphony, where music is best created when each orchestra member flawlessly executes his or her part, building and launching a scientific satellite takes the expertise, talent, and dedication of a large workforce working to the [...]

Taking Landsat 8 to the Beach
Aug 22, 2014Taking Landsat 8 to the Beach

[By Kate Ramsayer, with Michael Carlowicz] Some things go perfectly with a summer trip to the coast: sunscreen, mystery novels, cold beverages, and sand castles. Other things—like algae blooms or polluted runoff—are a lot less appealing. Read [...]

The Great Salt Lake shrank between 1985 and 2010
Aug 21, 2014Landsat and Water: Using Space to Advance Resource Solutions

[By Jon Campbell, USGS] A recent White House-led assessment found that Landsat is among the Nation’s most critical Earth observing systems, second only to GPS and weather. A new USGS study, Landsat and Water — Case Studies of the Uses and [...]

cattle grazing
Aug 20, 2014Monitoring Natural Resources on Native American Reservations

During a visit with Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribe leaders of Montana's Flathead Indian Reservation today, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell issued a Secretarial order reaffirming the land trust responsibilities of the [...]

NASA's Distinguished Service Medal
Aug 14, 2014NASA’s Landsat 8 Project Scientist Awarded Agency’s Distinguished Service Medal

This afternoon, Dr. Jim Irons, the NASA Landsat 8 Project Scientist, was awarded NASA’s most prestigious honor—the Distinguished Service Medal—for his leadership and guidance on the Landsat program and Landsat 8 mission. Irons was among a Read [...]

Lake Michigan phosphorus and turbidity predictions
Aug 7, 2014Landsat Aids Forest Service Research

[Source: Forest Service, Northern Research Station] Research highlights of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service—Northern Research Center feature two projects that relied on Landsat data. Ensuring the health and sustainability Read [...]

Giant kelp
Jul 31, 2014Tracking Giant Kelp From Space

[By: Julie Cohen, UC Santa Barbara] Citizen scientists worldwide are invited to take part in marine ecology research, and they won’t have to get their feet wet to do it. The Floating Forests project, an initiative spearheaded by scientists at UC [...]