A summary of the changes being made to the Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) data include:
All OLI bands (excluding cirrus Band 9) will have reflectance changes of up to 0.8 percent. (This can be compared to about a two (2) data value maximum change of Landsat 5-7 8-bit data). Visible striping may currently exist due to the improved sensitivity of OLI in dark uniform areas, such as water. This striping is reduced with this update. Changes to the cirrus Band 9 are more substantial, at about 7 percent.
The TIRS temperature offset noted on November 14, 2013 Calibration Notice on https://www.usgs.gov/landsat-missions/calibration_notices.php is a primary driver for this reprocessing effort. These offsets remove about 2.1 K from Band 10 and about 4.4 K from Band 11, relative to products processed prior to February 3, 2014. Users should work with TIRS Band 10 data as a single spectral band (like Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and should not use Band 11 by itself or attempt a split-window correction using both TIRS Bands 10 and 11.)
More details about the changes being made to these data are available in the January 29, 2014 Calibration Notice on https://www.usgs.gov/landsat-missions/calibration_notices.php.
Most users will not need to reorder data currently in their local archive; however, users are encouraged to review all Landsat 8 calibration notices (website above) and evaluate the improvements as they relate to specific applications.
The Pale Blue Dot Visualization Challenge—aimed at making Earth observation data accessible to everyone—has officially kicked off.