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Landsat 8. Seeing the world change

The Earth is constantly changing and never before were we able to see it in such detail. For the past 4 decades the Landsat mission has been giving us invaluable Earth imagery. Now with Landsat 8 (formally Landsat Data Continuity Mission) images are streaming back to earth in greater detail and resolution.

Below are some examples of the vast amount of satellite imagery that can be found on the USGS website.

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Lake Urmia receding over time. Images were taken by Landsat 5 and Landsat 8, courtesy of NASA and USGS.

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Lake Bahr al Milh receding over time. Images were taken by Landsat 5, Landsat 7 and Landsat 8, courtesy of NASA and USGS.

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View of the 2013 Flooding in Cambodia. Images were taken by Landsat 8, courtesy of NASA and USGS.

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View of the the water level on Lake Mead in 2013. Images were taken by Landsat 8, courtesy of NASA and USGS.

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View of the 2013 Mississippi River Floods subsiding. Images were taken by Landsat 8, courtesy of NASA and USGS.

Landsat 8 officially started operating May 2013 when the satellites operations was transferred from NASA to USGS (United States Geological Survey). Along with this hand over the name of the mission was changed from Landsat Data Continuity Mission to Landsat 8. The USGS now manages the satellite flight operations team within the Mission Operations Center, which remains located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Find the above and many more images taken by the Landsat mission satellites at high-resolution at http://landsat.usgs.gov/gallery_view.php?category=nocategory&thesort=pictureId

 If you’re after satellite imagery for commercial use Scantherma has high grade acquisition and image processing services. Images can be sourced from any commercial satellite, such as Landsat mission satellites and we can cater for most budgets with quick turn around. Visit the Remote Sensing section of the Scantherma website for more information.

First Landsat 8 Images

The first images taken by NASA’s LDCM or Landsat 8 satellite have started coming through.

NASA has also updated their LDCM website with a lot of technical data about the satellite and its mission, including the below quote:

 “But the work is only beginning for validating the data quality and getting ready for normal mission operations. These images were processed using pre-launch settings, which must be checked and adjusted now that LDCM is in orbit to ensure that the data accurately measure the intensity of reflected and emitted light received by the instruments. The mission operations team also needs to ensure that each pixel is accurately located on Earth’s surface. LDCM’s normal operations are scheduled to begin in late May when the instruments have been calibrated and the spacecraft has been fully checked out. At that time, NASA will hand over control of the satellite to the USGS, which will operate the satellite throughout its planned five-year mission life. The satellite will be renamed Landsat 8, and data from OLI and TIRS will be processed and added to the Landsat Data Archive at the Earth Resources Observation and Science Center in South Dakota, where it will be distributed for free over the Internet.”

There’s more information at NASA’s LDCM site:

 http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/landsat/main/index.html

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One of the first images taken by the Landsat Data Continuity Mission satellite. Image courtesy of NASA