The LDCM Thermal Infrared Sensor
Feb 26, 2015Landsat 8 Thermal Sensor Update

After extensive investigation and testing, the decision has been made to switch the TIRS Mechanism Control Electronics from the primary to redundant side on Monday, March 2, 2015.

DNC deforestation
Feb 25, 2015Landsat Shows Felling of Tropical Trees Has Soared

The rate at which tropical forests were cut, burned or otherwise lost from the 1990s through the 2000s accelerated by 62 percent, according to a new study which dramatically reverses a previous estimate of a 25 percent slowdown over the same period. That previous estimate, from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Forest Resource Assessment, was based on a collection of reports from dozens of countries. The new estimate, in contrast, is based on vast amounts of Landsat image data which directly record the changes to forests over 20 years.

energy reaching TIRS
Feb 19, 2015Landsat 8 Remote Sensing Special Issue

A trio of Landsat calibration scientists—Brian Markham (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), Jim Storey (Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies for USGS EROS) and Ron Morfitt (USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center) Landsat 8 Special Issue of the journal Remote Sensing.

Previous NLCD (2001) Alaska land cover product
Feb 18, 2015A Decade of Change in America’s Arctic: New Land Cover Data Released for Alaska

The latest edition of the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD 2011) for Alaska is now publicly available. The extensive NLCD database continues to add to our understanding of where land cover change has occurred across the Nation over time. Derived from carefully calibrated, long-term observations of Landsat satellites, NLCD data are used for thousands of applications such as best practices in land management, indications of climate change, determining ecosystem status and health, and assessing spatial patterns of biodiversity.

Elephant Foot Glacier
Feb 18, 2015Landsat Goes Over The Top: A Long View of the Arctic

On February 11, 2013, the Landsat 8 satellite rocketed into space to extend a four-decade legacy of Earth observations. A few months after launch, we published a composite of images that spanned 9,000 kilometers of land from Russia to South Africa. In celebration of the satellite’s second anniversary, the mosaic concept returns with a chilly twist, this time featuring a slice of the Arctic Circle.

Lake Urmia
Feb 17, 2015Vanishing Lake Urmia

Iran’s Lake Urmia is one of the largest saltwater lakes in the world. With eight times as much salt as seawater, it’s the globe’s largest habitat for brine shrimp, which attract flamingos, egrets and other birds as they migrate across Asia. But the lake is disappearing. Using images captured by USGS-NASA Landsat satellites, researchers determined that its area has decreased by 88 percent since the 1970s. Many blamed severe drought, but climate data from satellites and other sources demonstrated that the lake is shrinking even in wet years.

Landsat 8 Beauty Shot
Feb 11, 2015Landsat 8 at 2 years

Two years ago today, Landsat 8 blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base!