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Sentinel-2: Europe's 'Landsat' ready to picture Planet Earth

The lead spacecraft in Europe's new multi-billion-euro Earth observation (EO) programme is built and ready to go into orbit.

Sentinel-2a will take pictures of the planet's surface in visible and infrared light.

Its data will track everything from the growth of megacities to the variable yields of the …




By Julian Nettlefold

16 Oct 14. The Editor’s ‘Star Technology Pick’ of …


An Open Source Landsat Browser, Libra.

Libra is a fast image browser for previewing and downloading Landsat imagery. We work with a ton of imagery from our own internal archives and built …

Open Source

Viewing the Earth From Space

Despite any political differences between the United States and Russia, the space agencies of the two countries continue their cooperative work in Earth's orbit, aboard the International Space Station. Apart from the research being done in microgravity, ISS crew members continue to send back …


Spire wants to improve weather forecasting with tiny satellites

Will you need a raincoat or shorts tomorrow? Chances are the weather data you use to determine the answer comes from the roughly 20 satellites orbiting Earth that monitor weather systems. And as we all know, their data isn’t always enough to produce a reliable forecast.

Spire, a San Francisco …


This Company's Tiny Satellites Could Finally Make Weather Forecasting More Accurate

The East Coast's fake out blizzard this week could have been prevented—if forecasters had better data.

Earlier this week, the situation for New Yorkers looked dire. A blizzard was coming. Maybe the biggest blizzard in New York City's history. The subway was shut down for the first time ever because …

Ecologist's Airborne Scanners See The Forest And The Trees — All Of Them

In today's world it can be easy to feel like there's nothing left to discover, that all the blank bits of the map have long been filled. Gregory Asner begs to differ, and he's developed a lab in the sky to prove it.

In the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, Asner has designed a one-of-a-kind, ultra …


Planet Labs Nabs $95 Million And A New COO To Cover The Earth With Flocks Of Tiny Satellites

In less than five years since being founded, satellite startup Planet Labs has created a whole new way to do satellite imagery. Now that it’s proven out its model of deploying tiny satellites to circle the planet in low orbit, the company has brought on some additional capital and hired veteran …


Brazil sees "surprising" deforestation drop in Amazon

Brazil said deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has dropped by 18% in the past year.

Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said the fall, for the year ending July 2014, meant deforestation was at its second lowest level in 25 years.

But campaigners say alternative monitoring shows an increase for …


Goce gravity map traces ocean circulation

Scientists have produced what they say is the most accurate space view yet of global ocean currents and the speed at which they move.

The information has been drawn from a range of satellites, but in particular from the European Space Agency's Goce mission.

This platform, which operated from 2009 to …


World's rainforests could be mapped in 3D at high resolution by 2020 for under $250M

Forest map in the Peruvian Amazon developed from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, an airplane-based platform that uses advanced LiDAR to measure


NASA will send billions of laser pulses toward Earth to map forests in 3D

NASA will soon turn a laser-based device toward Earth in an effort to map its forest in 3D. This endeavor, which will originate the International Space Station and goes by the name GEDI, is all part of the agency's plan to determine the amount of carbon our planet's forests contain.

peering into the …


NASA's Tiny Cloud-Probing Satellite Could Have Huge Climate Payoff

NASA plans to launch a small satellite that, if successful, could help climate scientists improve computer models depicting future manmade global warming. The satellite, dubbed "IceCube," is the first of six new CubeSat missions that were selected as part of a new initiative during this fiscal …


This Stunning Carbon Map Could Unlock A New Way To Fight Climate Change

Stanford University scientists have produced the first-ever high-resolution carbon geography of Peru, a country whose tropical forests are among the world's most vital in terms of mitigating the global impact of climate change.

Released July 29, the 69-page report to Peru's Ministry of the …

Climate Change

Ocean-Watching Satellite Reveals Secrets of Soil (Image)

A NASA instrument designed to study the oceans turns out to be useful for studying land, too. The Aquarius instrument reveals levels of moisture in …


Web users join hunt for Hawaii tree invaders

US conservationists and a satellite imagery company have teamed up to use the power of crowdsourcing to halt the spread of destructive invasive plants.

Species such as the Australian tree fern are using up vital water supplies within native forests on Hawaii, home to unique species found nowhere …


Nasa launches carbon dioxide observer

Nasa has launched a mission dedicated to measuring carbon dioxide (CO2) from space.

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) will help pinpoint the key locations on the Earth's surface where the gas is being emitted and absorbed.

A Delta rocket carrying the satellite lifted clear of the Vandenberg …


US lifts restrictions on more detailed satellite images

Sites like Google and Bing Maps will be able to use higher-quality satellite images, thanks to US government restrictions being lifted.

Companies had not been allowed to make use of images where features smaller than 50cm were visible.

But one imaging firm, Digital Globe, said it would be able to …


Sentinel satellite spies ice cap speed-up

Melting at one of the largest ice caps on Earth has produced a big jump in its flow speed, satellite imagery suggests.

Austfonna on Norway's Svalbard archipelago covers just over 8,000 sq km and had been relatively stable for many years.

But the latest space data reveals a marked acceleration of the …

Ice Cap

Swarm 'delivers on magnetic promise'

Europe's Swarm mission to measure the Earth's magnetic field in unprecedented detail is achieving impressive levels of performance, scientists say.

Even though the trio of satellites were only launched in November, they are already sensing the global field to a precision that took previous ventures …

Earth's Magnetic Field

Dim the lights to restore nature's body clock

Satellite images of the earth provide a striking picture of our planet during the hours of darkness. From space, the world at night appears as an …


D View of Rain and Snow

A satellite launched by NASA and Japan's space agency can for the first time can detect light rain and snowfall from space.


EU's first Sentinel satellite images Earth

The European Union's new Sentinel-1a radar satellite has returned its first images of Earth.

Launched on 3 April, the spacecraft is part of a fleet of orbiting sensors that will go up over the next few years to monitor the state of the planet.

Its maiden pictures depict Brussels, flooding in Namibia …