Category: Throw Back Thursday

News Archive

Looking 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 7 image.

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Over 20 Million Landsat Scenes Downloaded

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 and Science (EROS) Center. These downloads brought the total number of Landsat data downloads to more than 20 million.

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Looking Back—The Millionth MSS Image

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 115×115-mile (185×185-km) area of the steppe (vast treeless plain) region of southwestern Russia. The large body of water on the south-central portion of the image is the Tsimlyanskoye reservoir, located approximately 60 miles (96 km) west of Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) and 550 miles (885 km) south of Moscow.

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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 the location of a Landsat calibration site.

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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 the most complex projections ever devised” according to cartographic historian, John W. Hessler.

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Landsat Video From the Archives

The Landsat program is the longest continuous global record of Earth observations from space—ever. On July 23, 1972 NASA launched the first satellite in this program, then known as ERTS, the Earth Resources Technology Satellite and later renamed Landsat 1. In 2012, for the 40th birthday of Landsat, NASA edited together selections of an archive video from 1973 about the ERTS launch. Featured in this 1973 video was a senior geologist at NASA, Nicholas Short, and at Dartmouth College, Robert Simpson and David Lindgren. NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) jointly manage Landsat, and the USGS preserves a more than 40-year archive of Landsat images that is freely available over the Internet.

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