September 2015


visitors look at Landsat image cubes
Sep 28, 2015Landsat at Explore@Goddard

On Saturday, September 26, over 20,000 people attended an all-day public open house at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

shorebirds
Sep 24, 2015Landsat Helps Feed the Birds

The BirdReturns program, created by The Nature Conservancy of California, is an effort to provide "pop-up habitats" for some of the millions of shorebirds, such as sandpipers and plovers, that migrate each year from their summer breeding grounds [...]

Typical American suburban community with model homes.
Sep 15, 2015USGS Maps Anthropogenic Land Use Trends, 1974–2012

More and more we hear the term "anthropocene" used to describe the current epoch of our planet when humankind has had a profound impact on Earth. This month, the U.S. Geological Survey has released a Landsat-based report and dataset on [...]

water hyacinth in bloom
Sep 2, 2015A Beautiful Menace: Tracking Water Hyacinth with Landsat

Delivering maps and tabular summaries of live water hyacinth coverage in waterways of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta from the latest cloud-free Landsat satellite imagery.

New Global Data Finds Tropical Forests Declining in Overlooked Hotspots
Sep 2, 2015New Global Data Finds Tropical Forests Declining in Overlooked Hotspots

The world lost more than 18 million hectares (45 million acres) of tree cover in 2014, an area twice the size of Portugal, according to new data from the University of Maryland (UMD) and Google released by Global Forest Watch. The data find that [...]

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in August 2015
Aug 31, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in August 2015

The Charter concept is this: a single phone number is made available to authorized parties providing 24/7 contact to a person who can activate the charter. Once activated, a project manager takes charge. The project manager knows what satellite [...]

Landsat Benefited U.S. Economy by $1.8 Billion in 2011
Aug 30, 2015Landsat Benefited U.S. Economy by $1.8 Billion in 2011

The 2.38 million Landsat images freely downloaded in 2011, benefited the U.S. economy by $1.8 billion found a new study published this month by a team of economists from Colorado State University and the USGS Fort Collins Science Center.

urban heat island
Aug 25, 2015Vegetation Essential for Limiting City Warming Effects

Cities are well known hot spots – literally. The urban heat island effect has long been observed to raise the temperature of big cities by 1 to 3°C (1.8 to 5.4°F), a rise that is due to the presence of asphalt, concrete, buildings, and other [...]

Forester showing pine beetle damage
Aug 19, 2015Improved Forest Disturbance Monitoring via an Algorithm Ensemble

Forest resource managers, natural resource policy makers, and global change scientists need comprehensive, consistent, and up-to-date information on trends in forest cover and condition. This information is essential for understanding carbon [...]

cropland in PA
Aug 18, 2015How Landsat Helps: New Agricultural Case Studies from USGS

The Social and Economic Analysis team at the Fort Collins Science Center recently added five new agriculture focused case studies to their "Landsat Imagery: A Unique Resource" website.

Superglacial lakes in Greenland. Photo credit: Washington University.
Aug 17, 2015Lakes On A Glacier

How deep is that icy blue water on Greenland's ice sheet? Dr. Allen Pope, of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, is using data from the NASA/USGS Landsat 8 satellite to find out. In this video, Dr. Pope shares what he sees when he looks at a [...]

Benign algae bloom in New York Bight
Aug 12, 2015The Good, the Bad, and the Algae

Algae are complicated. The little plants can be both good and bad.

ISU team in the field
Aug 7, 2015A Landsat-based Tool to Track Cheatgrass, Monitor Potential Wildfire Hazard

Landsat 8 imagery is being used to identify increased wildfire susceptibility due to the invasion of cheatgrass on rangelands.

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in July 2015
Jul 31, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in July 2015

The International Charter is a system that supplies free satellite imagery to emergency responders anywhere in the world.

Curtis Woodcock
Jul 30, 2015Landsat Science Team Meeting Held

The U.S. Geological Survey hosted the most recent Landsat Science Team Meeting at the Earth Resources Observation and Science Data Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota from July 7–9. On the first day presentations on the project status were [...]

NOAA Ship Fairweather
Jul 23, 2015Avoiding Rock Bottom: How Landsat Aids Nautical Charting

On the most recent nautical chart of the Beaufort Sea where the long narrow Tapkaluk Islands of Alaska’s North Slope separate the sea from the shallow Elson Lagoon (Nautical Chart 16081) a massive shoal is immediately noticeable just west of the [...]

Landsat 8 image of coast of Indonesia
Jul 17, 2015Seeing Clearly—A Peek into the World of Atmospheric Correction

On Tuesday, Mapbox announced that it is at work incorporating atmospherically corrected Landsat 8 data into its constantly refreshed Landsat-live map. After ironing out a few remaining kinks, data processed through this automatic atmospheric [...]

North American river widths derived from Landsat
Jul 9, 2015A Satellite View of River Width

Hydrologists from the University of North Carolina have come up with an innovative way to estimate the size of rivers via satellite images. Combing through data acquired by Landsat satellites, George Allen and Tamlin Pavelsky have compiled a new [...]

Percent loss of Turkey's glaciers
Jul 2, 2015Turkish Glaciers Shrink By Half

Researchers and citizens have known for some time that Turkey’s glaciers are shrinking. Now scientists have calculated the losses and found that more than half of the ice cover in this mountainous country has vanished since the 1970s.

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in June 2015
Jun 30, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in June 2015

This month, 31 Landsat scenes were ingested by the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System to provide data for International Charter activations.

first image from Sentinel-2A covers the Po Valley, framed by the Alps in the north and the coastal mountains of France and Italy in the south
Jun 30, 2015Sentinel-2 Delivers First Images

Just four days after being lofted into orbit, Europe’s Sentinel-2A satellite delivered its first images of Earth, offering a glimpse of the ‘color vision’ that it will provide for the Copernicus environmental monitoring program.

Sentinel-2A
Jun 26, 2015USGS Welcomes European Space Agency’s New Land Observing Satellite

[Source: Jon Campbell, USGS] The U.S. Geological Survey salutes the European Space Agency (ESA) on the successful June 23 launch of its Sentinel-2A satellite, the second satellite to be launched in Europe’s Copernicus environment monitoring [...]

graphic from the L8 data users handbook
Jun 25, 2015Landsat 8 Data Users Handbook Now Available

Landsat 8 data users will be glad to hear that the new Landsat 8 Data Users Handbook is now available online in PDF format from USGS.

Landsat & Sentinel-2 band comparison
Jun 23, 2015Sentinel-2A Launches—Our Compliments & Our Complements

The European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2A successfully launched into orbit last night from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana aboard a Vega rocket (10:52 p.m. local time; 01:52 GMT).

ESA Earth from Space screenshot
Jun 19, 2015ESA’s Earth From Space Features a Landsat 8 Image of San Francisco Bay

The European Space Agency's Earth from Space, presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web-TV virtual studios, recently featured a Landsat 8 image of the San Francisco Bay in this edition: + Visit ESA YouTube page Read more [...]

flooding of Nicholson River in 2009
Jun 18, 2015A New Era of Space Collaboration between Australia and U.S.

On June 18, 2015 in Canberra, Australia, the U.S. Geological Survey and Geoscience Australia signed a comprehensive new partnership to maximize land remote sensing operations and data that can help to address issues of national and international [...]

Coral reef with fish courtesy of Jeremy Cohen, Penn State University
Jun 17, 2015Satellites Enable Coral Reef Science Leap from Darwin to Online

With Earth-observing satellite data, scientists can now monitor the health of coral reefs, even in the most remote regions scattered around the globe where it is otherwise difficult to see changes.

ProPublica Landsat Las Vegas
Jun 4, 2015ProPublica Welcomes Readers to Las Vegas with Landsat

ProPublica has put together an interactive graphic called Welcome to Las Vegas*" that uses 40 years worth of Landsat data, together with a graphic representation of the city's changing skyline and its water use statistics.

Satellite-located landslides
Jun 4, 2015Scientist-Volunteers Map Landslides from Nepal Quakes

As millions of people regroup from earthquakes in Nepal, a team of international volunteers is combing through satellite imagery of the region to identify additional hazards: earthquake-induced landslides. “Landslides are a common secondary [...]

fall foliage from Landsat 8
Jun 2, 2015Technical Announcement: USGS Ups Ease of Use for Landsat Data

The USGS has begun production of higher-level (more highly processed) Landsat data products to help advance land surface change studies. One such product is Landsat surface reflectance data.

students interact with Landsat 8 mosaic of NYC
Jun 1, 2015Landsat at the 2015 World Science Festival

The World Science Festival in New York, NY provided a fascinating array of public explorations into the nature of science from May 27 to 31, 2015.

calved icebergs from Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier
Jun 1, 2015Ebb & Flow of Greenland’s Glaciers: New Study Could Improve Understanding of Greenland’s Contribution to Sea-level Rise

In northwestern Greenland, glaciers flow from the main ice sheet to the ocean in see-sawing seasonal patterns. The ice generally flows faster in the summer than in winter, and the ends of glaciers, jutting out into the ocean, also advance and [...]

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in May 2015
May 31, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in May 2015

The International Charter is a system that supplies free satellite imagery to emergency responders anywhere in the world.

the sound of deforestation
May 28, 2015The Sound of Deforestation, A Hack to Make Data Sing

In his lightning talk Lagomasino proposed a challenge to help study deforestation by linking satellite imagery and ground-images gathered via crowdsourcing

RSESTeP students
May 26, 2015A Reward for Teachers: Remote Sensing Earth Science Teacher Program (RSESTeP)

As part of a NASA-associated program, Michael Geiswhite and 28 of his 11th grade students from North Schuylkill Junior-Senior High School studied a coal mine fire that ignited in 1962 in Centralia, PA and forced the permanent exodus from their [...]

Odyssey of the Mind logo
May 25, 2015Landsat at the Odyssey of the Mind Conference

Science and engineering enthusiasts of all ages at the 2015 Odyssey of the Mind World Finals competition were introduced to how Landsat sees the world.

Dr. Martin O'Leary
May 22, 2015Here’s Looking at You Landsat, via @LandsatBot

Dr. Martin O'Leary is a glaciologist with Wales' Swansea University. He spends most of his time modeling glacier movements and from time-to-time he uses Landsat data to check things out, to get a lay of the land—or glacier. As a pet project he [...]

Virginia wine country
May 20, 2015Landsat Helping in Virginia Wine Country

The Virginia Wine Board partnered with Wise DEVELOP to map the extension of Virginia vineyards. Vineyard extent was measured using data from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI).

Landsat image of blocked road
May 14, 2015Gorkha Quake-Induced Chongsecun Landslide and Lake (Tibet)

The Chongsecun landslide was found by a Canadian government scientist (Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Canada) scrutinizing post- and pre-quake Landsat 8 images.

Landsat hyperwall talk
May 8, 2015Landsat at the Maryland Library Association

Libraries serve their communities in wonderful ways and can be effective venues for NASA outreach and public engagement.

Landsat 8 image of Langtang Valley
May 5, 2015Landsat Shows New Hazards Arising in Manaslu/Langtang Region of Nepal

The April 25, 2015, magnitude 7.8 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal triggered devastating landslides in Langtang Valley. Ice, snow and debris avalanches, rockfalls and landslides also occurred widely in other areas of the Nepal Himalaya. Landsat 8 [...]

Landsat image showing post-earthquake landslide in Langtang Valley.
May 2, 2015Landsat 8 Reveals Extent of Quake Disaster in Nepal’s Langtang Valley

The magnitude 7.8 Gorkha earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, caused extensive damage in Kathmandu Valley and severely affected Nepal's rural areas. Space agencies around the world are providing extensive resources in a huge [...]

2015 William T. Pecora Award Announcement: Nominations Accepted through June 15, 2015
May 1, 20152015 William T. Pecora Award Announcement: Nominations Accepted through June 15, 2015

The William T. Pecora Award is presented annually to individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing.

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in April 2015
Apr 30, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in April 2015

This month, 53 Landsat scenes were ingested by the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System to provide data for Charter activations.

Mike Taylor at Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day
Apr 23, 2015Passing on Our Landsat Passion this Earth Day

This past weekend, NASA shared the National Mall with rock stars of the likes of No Doubt, Mary J Blige, and My Morning Jacket among others.

Data processing, TOA, SR of Mt. Vesuvius image
Apr 20, 2015USGS Fact Sheet on Landsat Surface Reflectance Data Available

In support of the guidelines established through the Global Climate Observing System, the U.S. Geological Survey has embarked on production of higher-level Landsat data products to support land surface change studies. One such product is Landsat [...]

Landsat 8 TIRS in thermal vac
Apr 16, 2015Landsat 9 Is Coming

NASA and USGS have started work on Landsat 9, planned to launch in 2023.

tornado track
Apr 15, 2015NASA’s SPoRT Disaster Response Team Provides Landsat Imagery for Illinois Tornadoes

On April 9, 2015, severe thunderstorms produced several reports of damaging wind, hail, and tornadoes — including one particularly strong (EF-4) long-track tornado across north-central Illinois.

Sagebrush photo from USGS
Apr 10, 2015Climate Change May Pose Substantial Future Risk to Sagebrush Habitat in Southwestern Wyoming

Climate change may pose a substantial future risk for sagebrush habitat in southwestern Wyoming, and thus adversely affect the regional summer habitat and nesting areas of sage-grouse, according to a new study by the United States Geological Survey.

Faults in Xinjiang, Landsat 8 image
Apr 8, 2015Landsat “Faults in Xinjiang” Wins Tournament Earth 2015

A Landsat image has won the NASA Earth Observatory Tournament Earth 2015!