Search
Close this search box.

Landsat 8 Spots an Old Friend

Landsat 8 Spots an Old Friend

Landsat 5 by Landsat 8
Landsat 5 as imaged by Landsat 8 (panchromatic band, i.e. band 8). Image credit: RIT/USGS/NASA
Eight months ago, on June 5, 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey decommissioned the venerable Landsat 5 satellite. That day, the USGS Landsat Flight Operations Team transmitted the last command to Landsat 5, effectively terminating the mission and leaving it in a disposal orbit.
On November 22, 2013, Landsat 8 overflew the defunct Landsat 5 over northwestern Brazil (Path 233 Row 60). Thanks to some clever work by Mike Gartley, a Research Scientist with the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing group at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)—a group that has long participated in Landsat calibration and validation—Landsat 5 was spotted in that Landsat 8 image.
In the image, the Landsat 5 satellite is seen as a streak of pixels (dark or light depending on the spectral band). There is one image from each of Landsat 8’s OLI bands—except for Band 7, or SWIR-2, where she blended into the clouds and was impossible to distinguish. In these images Landsat 5 is much closer to Landsat 8 than she is to the Earth.
+ Landsat 5 in Landsat 8 band 1, coastal, or true-blue, band
+ Landsat 5 in Landsat 8 band 2, blue band
+ Landsat 5 in Landsat 8 band 3, green band
+ Landsat 5 in Landsat 8 band 4, red band
+ Landsat 5 in Landsat 8 band 5, NIR band
+ Landsat 5 in Landsat 8 band 6, SWIR-1 band
+ Landsat 5 in Landsat 8 band 8, panchromatic band
+ Landsat 5 in Landsat 8 band 9, cirrus band
Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that image was collected “this week,” it was actually acquired on Nov. 22, 2013.
Further Information:
+ The Final Journey of Landsat 5: A Decommissioning Story
+ How to Manage a Satellite Going 17K MPH
+ Landsat 5 Sets Guinness World Record For ‘Longest Operating Earth Observation Satellite’

On Key

Recent Posts

Allison Nussbaum gives a Hyperwall talk about Landsat’s free-and-open data policy and how it paved the way for data products including vegetation indices and evapotranspiration.

Landsat Outreach: Denver Edition

Landsat outreach was in full swing in Denver, Colorado at Geo Week and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference. The outreach team was represented by coordinator

Read More »
Landsat 2023 in Review: An image of the Landsat 9 satellite and a satellite image with the year "2023" written below it.

Landsat 2023 – A Year in Review

A delve into Landsat-based studies revealing the environmental impact of river mining, the decline in global lake water levels, and the risks of rising sea levels on coastal habitats. Plus, a sneak peek at what the future of the Landsat program holds with the introduction of Landsat Next.

Read More »
On Key

Related Posts

Allison Nussbaum gives a Hyperwall talk about Landsat’s free-and-open data policy and how it paved the way for data products including vegetation indices and evapotranspiration.

Landsat Outreach: Denver Edition

Landsat outreach was in full swing in Denver, Colorado at Geo Week and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference. The outreach team was represented by coordinator

Read More »