ESA Earth from Space screenshot
Jun 19, 2015ESA’s Earth From Space Features a Landsat 8 Image of San Francisco Bay

Jun 19, 2015 • The European Space Agency’s Earth from Space, presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web-TV virtual studios, recently featured a Landsat 8 image of the San Francisco Bay in this edition: + Visit ESA YouTube page

Virginia wine country
May 20, 2015Landsat Helping in Virginia Wine Country

The Virginia Wine Board partnered with Wise DEVELOP to map the extension of Virginia vineyards. Vineyard extent was measured using data from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI).

Fremont Lake Basin
Mar 23, 2015Historical Satellite Images Reveal Snow is Melting Earlier in Wyoming

A NASA study of a basin in northwestern Wyoming revealed that the snowmelt season in the area is now ending on average about sixteen days earlier than it did from the 1970s through the 1990s.

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.

From the River to the Sea
Dec 18, 2014From the River to the Sea

A pulse of water released down the lower reaches of the Colorado River last spring resulted in more than a 40 percent increase in green vegetation where the water flowed, as seen by the Landsat 8 satellite. The March 2014 release of water – an experimental flow implemented under a U.S.-Mexico agreement called “Minute 319” – reversed a 12-year decline in the greenness along the delta.

Kamchatka volcanoes
Nov 14, 2014Kamchatka: The Erupting Peninsula

Explorer Stepan Krasheninnikov first pointed it out in 1755: “Perhaps there is no other region in the world where so many volcanoes and hot springs are to be found in so small a space as here on Kamchatka.” There may not be another land mass on Earth where so many volcanoes and hot springs are crammed into so little space. Situated along the Pacific Coast of Russia, the Kamchatka Peninsula is part of the Ring of Fire, one of the most geologically active zones on the planet. More than 300 volcanoes dot the peninsula, including 29 active ones. And the volcanoes are as diverse–in shape, size, geologic formations, and eruptive styles–as they are numerous.

2011 Miss. River flood
Jul 22, 2014Landsat’s Global Perspective

On July 23rd, 1972, the first Landsat spacecraft launched into orbit. At the time, it was called “Earth Resources Technology Satellite,” or ERTS, and was the first satellite to use a scanning spectrophotometer. Previous satellites relied on film cameras (ejecting the exposed film to be caught by planes) or transmitted the signal from television cameras. The scanning sensor and its successor sensors on subsequent Landsat satellites revolutionized how we study our home planet.

Moon above Earth
Jul 11, 2014Landsat Looks to the Moon

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. These monthly lunar scans are key to ensuring the land-imaging instrument aboard Landsat 8 is detecting light consistently. For a well-known and stable source of light, nothing on our planet beats the moon, which lacks an atmosphere and has an unchanging surface, barring the odd meteorite.

Rebecca Moore
Jul 2, 2014Maps for Good: Saving Trees and Saving Lives with Petapixel-Scale Computing

Google has leveraged the massive amount of data collected about our planet from space over the last four-plus decades—Landsat being one of the key data sets. In this video, Google Earth Engine founder Rebecca Moore shares how Google Earth began and some of the ways it can be used to make sense of decades and petabytes worth of data.

NLCD partner contributions
May 23, 2014A Look at National Land Cover Database 2011

This 40-minute video presentation by Dr. Collin Homer, from the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (EROS), gives an overview of the latest version of the National Land Cover Database—NLCD 2011—its current status, future plans, and applications examples.

Screen Capture from 1977 video
May 22, 20141977 Video: Landsat—Satellite for all Seasons

This 1977 NASA video series, “Landsat—Satellite for All Seasons,” provides examples of early Landsat applications.

Landsat Reserchers, 1973
May 8, 2014Landsat 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.

Landsat Orbital Swath
Feb 19, 2014Round She Goes: Landsat’s Orbital Swath

As a Landsat satellite flies over the surface of the Earth the instruments aboard the satellite are able to view a swath 185 kilometers wide and collect images along that swath as the satellite proceeds through its orbit. The spacecraft travels at approximately 4.7 miles per second. The satellite travels from north to south while it’s over the sunlit portion of the Earth, and travels south to north over the dark side of the Earth. One orbit takes about 99 minutes, so that’s about approximately 15 orbits in a 24 hour period.

S. Covington
Jan 24, 2014How to Manage a Satellite Going 17K MPH

Covington tells the story of Landsat 5, which was launched in 1984 for a three-year lifetime and was kept alive for nearly 29 years through ingenuity and luck.

Earth data
Jan 22, 2014Unleashing the Power of Open Data Unanimously Endorsed for Another 10 Years

In Geneva on January 17, 2014, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) received unanimous endorsement to unleash the power of open data for a second decade. There was agreement to continue building on the organization’s first 10 years of pioneering environmental advances, which are designed to improve the quality of life of people everywhere. Fueled by open data, GEO’s efforts are now evident in most regions of the world. GEO is comprised of 90 member nations, including the European Commission and 77 Participating Organizations.

Barb Ryan
Jan 21, 2014Unleashing the Power of Earth Observations

In December 2013, the Secretariat Director of the Group on Earth Observations gave a TEDx talk in Barcelona, Spain making the case that all Earth-oberservation data collected from governments and institutions should be open and available to everyone. She illustrates how this could reduce hunger and improve the quality of life of all Earth’s inhabitants. Ryan emphasizes that Earth observation data show Earth without political boundaries, as an entire system.

CLASlite in Peru
Dec 18, 2013Forest Monitoring: Bringing the Power to the People

Forest conservation is an issue of major concern to communities large and small around the globe. But gathering the monitoring data needed to make the right decisions has proven extremely prohibitive for individuals to entire governments.

Dr. Martha Anderson, research scientist, USDA
Aug 26, 2012Mapping Water Use from Space

Aug 26, 2012 • [Source: Library of Congress] Dr. Martha Anderson, research scientist, USDA, talks about using images from the Landsat satellite program to monitor water use and drought on U.S. farms with pinpoint accuracy to measure evapotranspiration, the total amount of water used in the process of growing crops.

Nov 15, 2011Capturing Landsat’s Long History

Nov 15, 2011 • In an era when receipt of images from Earth-orbiting satellites is “routine”, it’s hard to recall that a few short decades ago this wasn’t the case. Landsat has stood at the forefront of space-based Earth observation, and has been the trailblazer for land remote sensing as it’s known today. The Landsat […]