Views of the News
May 10, 2013 - LDCM Already Helping Assess Burn Severity
A wildfire that started on May 2 near Camarillo in southern California was captured by the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), the newest Landsat satellite, as it passed over the Springs Fire on May 4. The false-color image from LDCM's Operational Land Imager (OLI) reveals the extent of the burned area in comparison to the March 2010 Landsat 5 image of the same area. Unburned vegetation appears dark green and burned areas are red, with the most severely burned areas the darkest. Satellite data such as the above are used to develop burn severity maps, often within hours of a wildfire, helping crews on the ground evaluate possible flood and landslide risks. To learn more about how scientists assess burn severity with satellite images, go to http://mtbs.gov/.
Additional information about these Landsat images can be found athttp://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=81085.
April 23, 2013 - New NASA/USGS Satellite Takes the Salton Sea’s Temperature
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) satellite acquired these images of the Salton Sea in Southern California on March 24, 2013. The black and white image is from LDCM’s Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS), which shows the amount of heat (thermal energy) radiating from the landscape. Cooler areas are dark, while warmer areas are bright. Use the slider to compare the thermal image to a natural color image acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) instrument aboard the LDCM satellite.
For more information on these images, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/landsat/news/salton-sea.html. For more about the Landsat mission, go to http://landsat.usgs.gov.
March 21, 2013 - First image from the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM)
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), launched on February 11, captured this image on March 18 where the Great Plains meet the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming and Colorado. This natural color Landsat scene emulates the true colors the human eye would see from space.
LDCM will begin its normal operations in May when NASA turns the mission over to the USGS. Images from the new satellite will start being added to the Landsat Data Archive at EROS and distributed for free over the Internet.
Click here to view the images directly from the NASA website and to obtain more information - http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/landsat/news/first-images-feature.html
February 8, 2013 - The Launch of the Next Landsat
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) spacecraft, the next generation Landsat satellite, is scheduled for launch at 10:02 a.m. PST on Monday, February 11, 2013. The LDCM spacecraft will be launched atop an Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California. The public is invited to view the launch from Providence Landing Park in Lompoc. The February 8, 2011, Landsat 5 image above shows the area of the Vandenberg Air Force Base. Areas of interest to the LDCM launch are labeled. More information can be found on the Image Gallery or Landsat website.
February 1, 2013 - From Katrina to Super Bowl XLVII
Built in 1975, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, previously known as the Louisiana Superdome, in New Orleans, Louisiana, hosted six Super Bowls between 1978 and 2002 and sheltered thousands of residents during Hurricanes Georges (1998) and Ivan (2004). However, when Hurricane Katrina came ashore on August 29, 2005, the Superdome suffered massive damage and severe flooding, as shown in the September 2005 image above, threatening the safety of residents once again seeking shelter there. A little more than a year later in September 2006, the Superdome, home to the New Orleans Saints, reopened its doors. The March 2012 image above shows the renovations to New Orleans and the Superdome.
This Sunday, February 3, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is hosting the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVI, the first Super Bowl hosted at the Superdome since the 2005 storm.
December 21, 2012 - End of an Era - Mission Accomplished for Landsat 5
Today the U.S. Geological Survey announced that Landsat 5 will be decommissioned over the coming months, bringing to a close the longest-operating Earth observing satellite mission in history. By any measure, the Landsat 5 mission has been an extraordinary success, providing unprecedented contributions to the global record of land change. The USGS has brought the aging satellite back from the brink of failure on several occasions, but the recent failure of a gyroscope has left no option but to end the mission. The image above is one of the first acquired by Landsat 5 on March 6, 1984. Visible is the ice breaking up on Lake Superior near Duluth, Minnesota. (Full Press Release)
November 20, 2012 - Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation in the Black Hills
The mountain pine beetle, a native insect to the Black Hills of South Dakota, has destroyed an estimated 384,000 acres - one third - of the 1.2 million acres of the National Forest System lands in the Black Hills since 1998.
Traditionally the mountain pine beetle has existed in the Black Hills at endemic levels, with periodic outbreaks coinciding with favorable conditions. Thriving in the abundant even-aged, high density ponderosa pine stands, the beetle mass attacks green host trees in late summer, boring under the bark and also spreading a blue-stain fungus, both of which can eventually lead to tree mortality if the mass attack was successful.
The infestation is growing rapidly, doubling from 22,000 new acres affected in 2008 to 44,000 new acres affected in 2009. The beetle infestation has also killed essentially all of the trees in the 13,426 acres of the Black Elk Wilderness.
September 7, 2012 - Hurricane Isaac Flooding
Hurricane Isaac made landfall in the New Orleans area in Louisiana on August 28, 2012, moving very slowly north. New Orleans' levees prevented massive flooding in the city; however, the strong winds, rain, and storm surges caused substantial flooding between Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain, northwest of the city, as shown in the Landsat 7 images above. The dark tones in the September 2 image are saturated lands, while the lighter blue tones of the two lakes represent turbid water bodies and sediment flow.
August 24, 2012 - Rush Fire, Over 317,000 acres burned
Started by lightning on the evening of August 12, the Rush Fire, in the Northern California District, has burned more than 317,000 acres. It is now burning in both California and Nevada. The Landsat 7 images above show the growth of the fire as of August 20.
August 15, 2012 - Drought Affects Wildlife Area
Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Wetlands Area in central Kansas provides a stopover point for millions of migrating shorebirds, ducks, and geese every fall. The largest interior marsh in the United States, the water levels at Cheyenne Bottoms have dwindled and disappeared due to the second summer of severe drought that's affecting a large percentage of the United States. The Landsat images above show the thousands of acres of shallow water that make up the wetland area in June 2010 and the dry conditions this past July.