April 12, 2007

Did-U-Know... Landsat is now 24 - Happy Birthday!

Did you know that on March 1, 2007, the Landsat 5 satellite began 24 years in orbit. This comes from the USGS... This milestone is particularly impressive considering its operational lifespan was thought to be no more than three years. On April 15, 2007, Landsat 7 will complete its eighth year of operation. Landsat data is a vital component of an incredible array of research that includes wildfire mapping, crop identification, timber harvesting, desertification, climate change, habitat suitability and urban expansion. Data gathered by Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 continue to form the backbone of the 35-year-old global Landsat archive ( http://landsat.usgs.gov/ ), which contains millions of images of Earth’s terrestrial environment and is maintained at the USGS Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science. So how do you view the data being collected??? Check out EarthNow... tool displays data received from the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites as they pass over the conterminous United States . When a Landsat satellite passes within range of the ground station at the USGS EROS center, image data are downlinked and displayed in near-real time. When Landsat 5 and 7 are not in range, the most recent ten pass are displayed. This application is nothing short of amazing! Coincidentally, as I viewed it this AM the bird was flying over my old hometown on Vancouver Island, BC! See http://earthnow.usgs.gov (Source: USGS)

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