Landsat Science Archive

Ivanpah Valley
Aug 28, 2014 Sun 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 [...]

Landsat 2014 Agency Awardees
Aug 26, 2014 Landsat 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, 2014 Taking Landsat 8 to the Beach

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. The newest generation of Landsat satellite is [...]

The Great Salt Lake shrank between 1985 and 2010
Aug 21, 2014 Landsat 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, 2014 Monitoring 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, 2014 NASA’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 small [...]

Giant kelp
Jul 31, 2014 Tracking 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 [...]

Chart showing old-growth forest loss in Indonesia, 2000-2012
Jul 30, 2014 A Closer Look at Old-Growth Forest Loss in Indonesia

A group of researchers from the University of Maryland, the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, and the World Resource Institute joined forces to remedy the lack of consensus about the amount of old-growth forest clearing occurring in Indonesia. [...]

Aftermath of Hurricane Mitch
Jul 24, 2014 Mapping Disaster: A Global Community Helps from Space

[By Laura E.P. Rocchio] Year after year, somewhere on Earth, natural or manmade disasters cause loss of life and widespread destruction, frequently spawning refugee situations. Though the risk of a disaster is low in any one particular place, [...]

Russian Arctic Islands, Landsat Image
Jul 23, 2014 Observing Earth Today and Tomorrow: A National Plan

[By Jon Campbell, USGS] Humans have been observing Earth for a very long time simply because the conditions of the Earth are basic to our survival and our prosperity. Even the most ancient written records are filled with accounts of great [...]

Landsat-derived map of field use
Jul 23, 2014 Landsat’s Role in Water Resource Management

[By Larisa Serbina and Holly M. Miller, USGS] Water availability and allocation are issues gaining a great deal of attention, particularly in arid climates. Increases in population growth and recent droughts bring urgency to measuring and [...]

2011 Miss. River flood
Jul 22, 2014 Landsat’s Global Perspective

[Source: NASA Science Visualization Studio] On July 23rd, 1972, the first Landsat spacecraft launched into orbit. At the time, it was called “Earth Resources Technology Satellite,” or ERTS, and was the first satellite to use a [...]

WELD 2010 global collection
Jul 18, 2014 Web-Enabled Landsat Data (aka WELD) Going Global

The Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD) project has released prototype global data sets for climate year 2010. The data sets are available as both monthly and annual 30m products generated from Landsat 5 and 7 data. The data sets are available at: [...]

Target Field, Minneapolis
Jul 16, 2014 Picturing a Pixel

Landsat satellites collect data along a wide ground track that spans 185 kilometers (115 miles) but with a spatial resolution that allows them to see the human signature on the landscape. Each Landsat pixel covers a 30 by 30 meter area (98 by [...]

Moon above Earth
Jul 11, 2014 Landsat Looks to the Moon

[Source NASA / YouTube] Every full moon, Landsat 8 turns its back on Earth. As the satellite’s orbit takes it to the nighttime side of the planet, Landsat 8 pivots to point at the moon. It scans the distant lunar surface multiple times, [...]

Jul 8, 2014 At the Beach with Landsat 8

[excerpted from Kate Ramsayer, NASA Goddard] Scientists with the Michigan Tech Research Institute are tracking the spread of Chladophora, a hair-fine algae that attaches to shallow water rocks, or the shells of dead invasive zebra and quagga [...]

Rebecca Moore
Jul 2, 2014 Maps for Good: Saving Trees and Saving Lives with Petapixel-Scale Computing

Google has leveraged the massive amount of data collected about our planet from space over the last four-plus decades—Landsat being one of the key data sets. In this video, Google Earth Engine founder Rebecca Moore shares how Google Earth began [...]

USGS Landsat Water Report
Jul 1, 2014 Landsat and Water—Case Studies of the Uses and Benefits of Landsat Imagery in Water Resources

[Source: USGS] The Landsat program has been collecting and archiving moderate resolution earth imagery since 1972. The number of Landsat users and uses has increased exponentially since the enactment of a free and open data policy in 2008, which [...]

Eastern U.S.
Jun 26, 2014 Eastern U.S. a Carbon Sink from 2001-2005

The U.S. Geological Survey released a report this week assessing terrestrial and aquatic greenhouse gas fluxes for the Eastern U.S., specifically focusing on carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. An area of 3.05 million square kilometers [...]

SOM projection
Jun 26, 2014 John Parr Snyder’s Space Oblique Mercator Projection

To continually map the Earth’s surface using Landsat data, an entirely new projection had to be created. This new projection was created by John Parr Snyder and is known as the Space Oblique Mercator (SOM) projection. It is considered, “one of [...]

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