Posts tagged satellite.
ice fractures on the Beaufort Sea
NASA and the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have released the first images from the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) satellite, which was launched Feb. 11.
The natural-color images show the intersection of the United States Great Plains and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming and Colorado. In the images, green coniferous forests in the mountains stretch down to the brown plains with Denver and other cities strung south to north.
LDCM acquired the images at about 1:40 p.m. EDT March 18. The satellite’s Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) instruments observed the scene simultaneously. The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., processed the data.
LDCM is the eighth in the Landsat series of satellites that have been continuously observing Earth’s land surfaces since 1972.
Lake Ontario is almost completely ice free. The water temperature is 35°F. Yet, there are more snow storms. How can this be?
Read more: Warmer but more snow. Does this make sense?
Did you watch the Landsat 8 liftoff today?
It saw the Landsat-8 mission hurtle skywards on an Atlas rocket from the US Air Force base at Vandenberg shortly after 10:00 local time (18:00 GMT).
The spacecraft will maintain the longest continuous image record of the Earth’s surface as viewed from space. It is a record that now stretches back over 40 years - an invaluable tool for studying our changing world.
The latest spacecraft was lifted by the Atlas into a 680km-high polar orbit. It will take about three months for Nasa engineers to test the platform and get it ready for use at its operational altitude of 705km.
“Landsat is a critical asset,” said US space agency (Nasa) project scientist Dr Jim Irons. “land.
“In order for us to adapt to these changes and make sensible decisions about what we do to the surface of the planet, we need the information this satellite series gives us,” he told told BBC News.
The entire 40-year image archive is open and free. Scientists around the globe exploit the information in myriad ways - from monitoring the health of crops and the status of volcanoes, to measuring the growth of cities and the extent of glaciers.
One of uses best known to the general public will be on their phones and computers through Google, which incorporates Landsat data into its Earth and Maps applications.
A selection of gorgeous images captured by Landsat 7:
- Antarctic Pack Ice
- Antarctica’s Byrd Glacier
- Mount Etna, Italy
- The meandering Mississippi River
- Vatnajokull Glacier in Iceland
Landstat 8 is launching this week. The stakes are very high because Landstat 7 is running out of fuel, and could possibly go offline. Landstat 8 will provide higher resolution images of the earth. The satellite project has provided scientists, researchers, private businesses, and governments with incredible wealth of data.
Landsat data has become a fundamental data source for addressing basic science questions. It is a valuable resource for decision makers in the fields of agriculture, forestry, land use, water resources and natural resource exploration.
Landsat has also played an increasing role in diverse applications such as human population census, growth of global urbanization and deletion of coastal wetlands.
As human populations increasingly dominate the Earth’s land areas, understanding changes in land cover and land use from year to year becomes increasingly important for both decision makers and human occupants of the Earth.
I’ll be writing more about Landstat over the coming months. It is one of the most important systems in shaping climate adaptation policy and other environmental decision making.
You can read the history of Landstat at NASA.
More on the new launch, via Wired.
This robot was used to monitor Hurricane Sandy. It runs on waves and sent wind speed and other weather data to satellites for researchers to use in real time.
NOAA Successfully Deploys Wave Glider Robots In Live Test During Hurricane Sandy
NOAA deployed a Wave Glider named Mercury in the Atlantic earlier this week about 100 miles east of Tom’s River, N.J., just off the soon-to-be devastated Jersey Shore.
Mercury met Hurricane Sandy head on, streaming back realtime data on the storm as it came charging inland on Monday. Most notably, Mercury recorded winds as high as 70 knots (80 miles per hour) and a plunge in barometric pressure of over 54.3 millibars, troughing at 946 millibars just as Sandy was making landfall.
NOAA plans to eventually field entire fleets of these self-propelled, wave-powered instrument platforms along with faster moving counterparts (made from modified EMILY robots) that can actually keep pace with a storm (the slower-moving Wave Gliders are meant to position themselves in front of a storm as it blows over).
The data they collect will go a long way toward helping meteorologists improve their understanding of how different storms develop and the models they use to predict their paths and intensities—and hopefully save lives.
Something like this (more at the link):
This is basically all of the water that could precipitate out of the air at any given moment.
Related: xkcd’s What If series asks what would happen if a rainstorm dropped all its water in one big drop.
These maps are updated daily. Here’s how they’re created.
Siberian wildfires at night (Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite, 8-3-2012)
“Official estimates differ on the size of the area currently affected by burning, ranging from 18,000 to 23,000 hectares (70 to 90 square miles), according to news reports.”
Wadi As-Sirhan Basin, in the Saudi Arabian desert 1987 to 2012.
Northern Saudi Arabia hosts some of the most extensive sand and gravel deserts in the world, but modern agricultural technology has changed the face of some of them. This photograph presents the almost surreal image of abundant green fields in the midst of a barren desert — specifically the Wadi As-Sirhan Basin of northwestern Saudi Arabia. As recently as 1986 there was little to no agricultural activity in the area, but over the subsequent 26 years agricultural fields have been steadily developed, largely as a result of investment of oil industry revenues by the Saudi government. The fields use water pumped from subsurface aquifers and is distributed in rotation about a center point within a circular field — a technique known as center-pivot agriculture. This technique affords certain benefits relative to more traditional surface irrigation such as better control of water use and application of fertilizers. The use of this so-called “precision agriculture” is particularly important in regions subject to high evaporative water loss; by better controlling the amount and timing of water application, evaporative losses can be minimized. Crops grown in the area include fruits, vegetables, and wheat.Via
Photo via The Telegraph.