kmusser: (Earth)
As NASA is busy showing off their awesomeness I thought I'd write about one of their other successes. While I was at a mapping conference recently I was reminded that it is Landsat's 40th anniversary. It's sort of weird to think that as long as I've been alive, Landsat has been up there taking pictures. That's 40 years of continuous imagery covering the entire Earth, and it's all public domain. Every satellite image basemap you've ever seen is based on Landsat imagery.


Turns out we're very lucky to have that archive. The program launched 5 satellites from 1972-1984, each with a planned 3 year lifespan. Due to budget fuckery in the late 80's-early 90's Landsat 6 was delayed. Fortunately the earlier satellites were lasting longer than planned, 5-6 years, but by 1993 Landsat 5 was the only one operating, and it going on 9 years. Landsat 6 was finally launched . . . and failed to make orbit. Landsat 5 was in it's 15th year before Landsat 7 was launched and began taking over the bulk of image taking duties. Landsat 7 was planned for a 5 year mission and is still flying, now in its 13th year. Landsat 5 is also still taking pictures, 28 years old! Hopefully (fingers crossed) they'll get some relief with a new Landsat satellite scheduled for next February.

View the entire archive online (use Advanced Query to get at the earlier years) - for any fellow GIS users this is also available via ArcGIS Online.
What's Landsat 7 imaging right now?
kmusser: (Confusion)
For those posting about new planets, here is a fuller analysis of the new planet debate from one of 2003 UB313's discoverers
kmusser: (Psi Corp)
Chad Trujillo is a friend of mine from High School who is now an astronomer who seaches the Kuiper belt for new objects. His team's latest find should hit the mainstream press today or tomorrow.

Astronomer's Discover 10th planet.

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