NASA and USGS to Host Social Media Event
On May 30, 2013, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission will begin its life's work as an operational mission under the new moniker Landsat 8. Social media users that participate in Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus can register to attend an event in Sioux Falls, SD that will include an official ceremony, tours, and an evening event. Participants that are chosen to attend are responsible for their own travel costs. Registration opens at noon EDT on April 26, 2013. For more information and to register, go to http://landsat.usgs.gov/LDCMSocial.php
First View from the New Landsat Satellite
On March 18, 2013, the newly launched Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) began to send back images of Earth from both of its instruments—the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). One of the satellite's first images is of the area where the Great Plains meet the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming and Colorado.
“The first OLI and TIRS images look great right out of the box,” said Jim Irons, LDCM project scientist. “I have waited a long time to view the first LDCM images and I could not be more impressed with their appearance.”
For more information on the new images go to NASA's Earth Observatory.
Landsat 5 Sets Guinness World Record
Landsat 5 successfully set the new Guinness World Records title for 'Longest-operating Earth observation satellite' as stated in an e-mail from Guinness World Records sent to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Outliving its three-year design life, Landsat 5 delivered high-quality, global data of Earth's land surface for 28 years and 10 months. More >
Countdown to Launch!
Don't miss the upcoming Launch of the next Landsat Mission! Information on viewing the launch, hosting a launch party, media updates, and other interesting items have been added to the Landsat Missions webpage: http://landsat.usgs.gov.
Measuring Glacier Change in the Himalayas
A serious lack of reliable and consistent data severely hampers scientific knowledge about the state of Himalayan glaciers. As a result, the contribution of glacial melt to the Himalayan river basins remains uncertain. This is of grave importance because declining water availability could threaten the food security of more than 70 million people. The UNEP Global Environmental Alert Service (GEAS) September bulletin urges for improved cross-boundary scientific collaboration and monitoring of Himalayan glaciers to bridge the knowledge gap and allow policy options to be based on appropriate scientific evidence.
Read "Measuring Glacier Change in the Himalayas" athttp://na.unep.net/geas/getUNEPPageWithArticleIDScript.php?article_id=91.
UNEP: Early Warning Systems
UNEP has released a GEAS bulletin titled "Early Warning Systems - A State of the Art Analysis and Future Directions". Early warning technologies have greatly benefitted from recent advances in communication and information technologies and an improved knowledge on natural hazards and the underlying science. Nevertheless many gaps still exist in early warning technologies and capacities — especially in the developing world — and yet a lot has to be done for the development of a global scale multi-hazard system. This in-depth bulletin introduces the basic concepts of early warning systems, the role of earth observation for disasters and environment and focuses on the existing early warning/monitoring systems while addressing the need to fill in the operational gaps for slow-onset hazards both in monitoring, communication, and response phases to facilitate timely decision-making.
Read the bulletin at http://na.unep.net/geas/getUNEPPageWithArticleIDScript.php?article_id=89.
USGS Rolls Out New LandsatLook Viewer
In honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Landsat 1 launch, and in preparation for Landsat 8 in February 2013, the USGS has rolled out a prototype viewer that allows easy access to the over 3 million scenes in the Landsat archive. Find out more about the LandsatLook Viewer. Go to the LandsatLook Viewer.
One Planet, How Many People?
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released its first in-depth Global Environmental Alert Service (GEAS) bulletin titled "One Planet, How Many People? A Review of Earth's Carrying Capacity."
It is estimated that global population reached 7 billion in late 2011 or early 2012. This bulletin explores how the human impact has grown to such a scale that it has become a major geophysical force. The GEAS takes the pulse of the planet and enhances UNEP’s ability to provide regular, science-based updates to its member states and the international community on the status and trends of the global environment. Presented in a clear, visually oriented format, these bulletins help UNEP fulfill its mandate to bridge the gap between environmental science and policy makers.
For more information, go to "One Planet, How Many People? A Review of Earth's Carrying Capacity."
The Best of Earth as Art - A Contest to Celebrate 40 Years of Landsat
During a span of 40 years, since 1972, the Landsat series of Earth observation satellites has become a vital reference worldwide for understanding scientific issues related to changes on the Earth's surface.
To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Landsat, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA would like your help in selecting the top five "Earth as Art" images from the more than 120 images in the collection.
The poll is now closed.
Earth as Art's Top Five will be announced on July 23 in Washington, D.C. at a special event commemorating the launch of the first Landsat satellite.
Built by NASA and operated by USGS, Landsat satellites supply Earth scientists, land-resource managers, and policy makers with objective data about changes across the global landscape. Some changes, like major floods or volcanic eruptions, come quickly; others, like urban sprawl or regrowth from forest fires, appear gradually. Landsat impartially records these and many other changes to the land that are induced by man or nature.
Beyond the scientific information they confer, some Landsat images are simply striking to look at — presenting spectacular views of mountains, valleys, and islands; forests, grasslands, and agricultural patterns. By selecting certain features and coloring them from a digital palate, the USGS has created a series of "Earth as Art" perspectives that demonstrate an artistic resonance in land imagery and provide a special avenue of insight about the geography of each scene.
NASA is preparing to launch the next Landsat satellite in 2013, which will be turned over to USGS for operations and data distribution. For more information about the Landsat Program, visit:
NLCD Fact Sheet now available
The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) serves as the definitive Landsat-based, 30-meter resolution, land cover database for the Nation. NLCD supports a wide variety of Federal, State, local, and nongovernmental applications that seek to assess ecosystem status and health, understand the spatial patterns of biodiversity, predict effects of climate change, and develop land management policy. The NLCD Fact Sheet can be downloaded from the USGS Publications Warehouse at http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2012/3020/.