Learn more about the atmospheric transmission data used for our Landsat spectral band comparison graphic.
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, then flips back around to continue its task of collecting land-cover information of the sunny side of Earth below.
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.
On the beautifully clear Monday morning of Feb. 11, 2013, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission made its way from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base to low Earth orbit.
The great strength of Landsat is its ability to let data users look at and analyze changes to the Earth's landscapes from 1972 to the present.