NASA, USGS Release First Landsat 9 Images

From NASA

The first image collected by Landsat 9, on Oct. 31, 2021, shows mangroves along the northwest coast of Australia clustered in protected inlets and bays on the edge of the Indian Ocean. Fluffy cumulus clouds and high-altitude cirrus clouds hover nearby.
Mangroves are prominent along the northwest coast of Australia. The first image collected by Landsat 9, on Oct. 31, 2021, shows mangroves clustered in protected inlets and bays on the edge of the Indian Ocean. Fluffy cumulus clouds and high-altitude cirrus clouds hover nearby. The aqua colors of the shallow near-shore waters give way to the deep, dark blues of the ocean.
Credits: NASA

A composite of four images taken by two instruments carried by Landsat 9.
Landsat 9 carries two instruments designed to work together to capture a broad range of wavelengths: the Operational Land Imager 2 and the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2. Data from both instruments are shown in this image. Credits: NASA

Landsat 9, a joint mission between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that launched Sept. 27, 2021, has collected its first light images of Earth.

The images, all acquired Oct. 31, are available online. They provide a preview of how the mission will help people manage vital natural resources and understand the impacts of climate change, adding to Landsat’s unparalleled data record that spans nearly 50 years of space-based Earth observation.

“Landsat 9’s first images capture critical observations about our changing planet and will advance this joint mission of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey that provides critical data about Earth’s landscapes and coastlines seen from space,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “This program has the proven power to not only improve lives but also save lives. NASA will continue to work with USGS to strengthen and improve accessibility to Landsat data so decision makers in America – and around the world – better understand the devastation of the climate crisis, manage agricultural practices, preserve precious resources and respond more effectively to natural disasters.”

These first light images shows Detroit, Michigan, with neighboring Lake St. Clair, the intersection of cities and beaches along a changing Florida coastline and images from Navajo Country in Arizona that will add to the wealth of data helping us monitor crop health and manage irrigation water. The new images also provided data about the changing landscapes of the Himalayas in High Mountain Asia and the coastal islands and shorelines of Northern Australia.

Landsat 9 is similar in design to its predecessor, Landsat 8, which was launched in 2013 and remains in orbit, but features several improvements. The new satellite transmits data with higher radiometric resolution back down to Earth, allowing it to detect more subtle differences, especially over darker areas like water or dense forests. For example, Landsat 9 can differentiate more than 16,000 shades of a given wavelength color; Landsat 7, the satellite being replaced, detects only 256 shades. This increased sensitivity will allow Landsat users to see much more subtle changes than ever before.

“First light is a big milestone for Landsat users – it’s the first chance to really see the kind of quality that Landsat 9 provides. And they look fantastic,” said Jeff Masek NASA’s Landsat 9 project scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center. “When we have Landsat 9 operating in coordination with Landsat 8, it’s going to be this wealth of data, allowing us to monitor changes to our home planet every eight days.”

Landsat 9 carries two instruments that capture imagery: the Operational Land Imager 2 (OLI-2), which detects visible, near-infrared and shortwave-infrared light in nine wavelengths, and the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2), which detects thermal radiation in two wavelengths to measure Earth’s surface temperatures and its changes.

These instruments will provide Landsat 9 users with essential information about crop health, irrigation use, water quality, wildfire severity, deforestation, glacial retreat, urban expansion, and more.

“The data and images from Landsat 9 are expanding our capability to see how Earth has changed over decades”, said Karen St. Germain, Earth Science Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “In a changing climate, continuous and free access to Landsat data, and the other data in NASA’s Earth observing fleet, helps data users, including city planners, farmers and scientists, plan for the future.”

NASA’s Landsat 9 team is conducting a 100-day check-out period that involves testing the satellite’s systems and subsystems and calibrating its instruments in preparation for handing the mission over to USGS in January. USGS will operate Landsat 9 along with Landsat 8, and together the two satellites will collect approximately 1,500 images of Earth’s surface every day, covering the globe every eight days.

“The incredible first pictures from the Landsat 9 satellite are a glimpse into the data that will help us make science-based decisions on key issues including water use, wildfire impacts, coral reef degradation, glacier and ice-shelf retreat and tropical deforestation,” said USGS Acting Director Dr. David Applegate. “This historic moment is the culmination of our long partnership with NASA on Landsat 9’s development, launch and initial operations, which will better support environmental sustainability, climate change resiliency and economic growth – all while expanding an unparalleled record of Earth’s changing landscapes.”  

Landsat 9 data will be available to the public, for free, from USGS’s website once the satellite begins normal operations.

NASA manages the Landsat 9 mission development. Teams from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, also built and tested the TIRS-2 instrument. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, managed the mission’s launch. The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center will operate the mission and manage the ground system, including maintaining the Landsat archive. Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, built and tested the OLI-2 instrument. United Launch Alliance is the rocket provider for Landsat 9’s launch. Northrop Grumman in Gilbert, Arizona, built the Landsat 9 spacecraft, integrated it with instruments, and tested it.

For more information on Landsat 9 and the Landsat program, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/Landsat9

-end-

Tylar Greene

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Greg
November 7, 2021 10:54 pm

“science-based decisions on key issues including water use, wildfire impacts, coral reef degradation, glacier and ice-shelf retreat and tropical deforestation,” said USGS Acting Director Dr. David Applegate.

So we won’t be able to detect the recent improvement in coral reef conditions on GBR; the increase is Arctic sea ice in the last 12mo to now be more than the 2007 minimum and the general green of the planet.

Apparently these instruments will only detect negative changes of the “climate crisis”.

So by looking with one eye closed and carefully filtering the data to only report negative change Dr Applegate will be able to “inform science-based decisions on key issues”.

Last edited 2 months ago by Greg
Greg
Reply to  Greg
November 7, 2021 11:05 pm

With such blatant and massive bias it’s no wonder “the science” is skewed.

Great images from this instrument. Hopefully we can find some real scientists to work in them.

Ric Werme(@ricwerme)
Editor
Reply to  Greg
November 8, 2021 5:19 am

Please note that the satellite series is “Landsat”, not Seasat.” Given a choice, I’d go with Land, and the history bears it out.

Note also that Landsat has been involved in various climate change issues, e.g. the greening of the Sahel.

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/7/4/4048/htm

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/04/20/earth-day-connections-nasa-investigates-vegetation/

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/09/23/global-change-ecologist-leads-nasa-satellite-study-of-rapid-greening-across-arctic-tundra/

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/09/25/climate-change-is-greening-the-arctic-and-this-is-bad/

Please look before making a knee-jerk comment.

Barry
Reply to  Greg
November 9, 2021 4:46 am

The statement that this will allow us to “better understand the devastation of the climate crisis” is pure Gavin Schmidt throwing around his newly acquired weight as a Director of NASA, courtesy of Biden.

Last edited 2 months ago by Barry
Climate believer
November 7, 2021 11:34 pm

If you look at their image of the Florida panhandle, then look at Google earths image (Landsat) of the same area twenty years ago, and compare the two….

…you get to see the “potential impacts of rising sea levels” with your own eyes.

You will “potentially” be very underwhelmed.

2hotel9
Reply to  Climate believer
November 8, 2021 5:17 am

I don’t know, I got a whole lot of potential for being underwhelmed, they really got to work at it! 😉

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Climate believer
November 8, 2021 7:45 am

Oh, but Landsat9 can help “…better understand the devastation of the climate crisis…”
All I can think of at the moment is; what devastation, what crisis?

I sure do like the images, though.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Alan Robertson
November 8, 2021 1:24 pm

But can it help with Tree Equity?

Thomas Gasloli
November 8, 2021 12:03 am

Do the people at NASA understand that all the woke climate hysteria language puts their science in question? When you display your political bias so blatantly you lose your credibility.

DocSiders
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
November 8, 2021 4:39 am

Almost everyone I converse with lately has lost all confidence in Medicine and Science. They see the lies and distortions IN FAVOR of freedom reducing measures.

Also losing trust in the Press pretty fast.

Now…if only the 75% of the population who still treasure freedom had ANY LEADERSHIP.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  DocSiders
November 8, 2021 8:06 am

Perhaps we should be careful to specify that it is the current institutions of medicine and science that are a problem. Science is a reliable process with strict rules that allows us to discover things about the natural world. Medicine is anything that improves health and longevity. Many of those claiming to represent these fields have long left the path of truth.

Diane E Rienstra
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
November 10, 2021 11:08 am

True and well put. Now, how to get politics out of medicine/science before we reject both and sink into nothingness.

Disputin
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
November 8, 2021 5:03 am

Since one of them is Gavin Scmidt I doubt it.

Doonman
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
November 8, 2021 11:27 am

said USGS Acting Director Dr. David Applegate.

Don’t worry. He is only the acting director. His comments are just acting.

AndyHce
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
November 8, 2021 1:11 pm

With who? Harris?

Geoff Sherrington
November 8, 2021 12:08 am

No argument that these are magnificent images, thanks to all involved,.
However, with better measurement, they will find and show more images of unusual features.
Interest will be directed at the “extreme” and the inevitable claims that we are seeing more extreme events. Many onlookers are waiting to claim links to climate change.
Thus the stupidity of global warming claims will grow.
Too many people are unqualified to comment, but they will.
Science has all but lost its fundamentals, like following the path back to first principles, like validation of data before acceptance, like unrelenting challenge to the prevailing hypothesis.
So, in a sense, this lovely satellite imagery will be treated by masses like reading a comic book.
Little will be seen of the deeper meaning it deserves. We can see the start of this social influence from the picture captions about First Nations lands and emphasis on temperatures at ever greater levels of irrelevance.
Geoff S

stinkerp
November 8, 2021 12:20 am

And how do they propose to illustrate “the devastating effects of the climate crisis” with Landsat imagery? The only climate change visible to Landsat is the glacier retreat which began long before CO2 was even a thing, and the greening of the earth over the last 5 decades due to CO2. Oh, and Arctic summer sea ice which has declined over the last 30 years, but also Antarctic summer sea ice which has not.

Ric Werme(@ricwerme)
Editor
Reply to  stinkerp
November 8, 2021 5:20 am

Sorry, please take some time to learn about Landsat and the entire series of satellites.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ric Werme
November 8, 2021 7:35 am

The Landsat satellites have been around a long time.

I used to have a big, coffee table book of Landsat photos back in the 1970’s. They were the best pictures available from space at the time. There were some really interesting, beautiful photos.

Rod Evans
November 8, 2021 1:11 am

Quote.
“NASA will continue to work with USGS to strengthen and improve accessibility to Landsat data so decision makers in America – and around the world – better understand the devastation of the climate crisis,”
Well if that doesn’t set the scene and inform everyone what the prime intention of the images will be I don’t know what will.
Note the language in use, Better understand the “devastation of the climate crisis”
So we now have devastation do we? I have not seen it unless we consider 20,000 plus freeloaders, all meeting in Glasgow to parade their views on climate, a devastation, could be?.

DocSiders
Reply to  Rod Evans
November 8, 2021 4:43 am

The only devastation I’ve noticed is in the winter…where I use my snow blower once a week now in January – February instead of twice a week 30 years ago.

It’s horrible!

yirgach
Reply to  Rod Evans
November 8, 2021 8:33 am

But can it track the number of trees by race? SJWs need to know…

https://twitter.com/i/status/1457072500882481160

rbabcock
November 8, 2021 4:04 am

Just in time to document the coming cooling of the Earth and what it will be doing to vegetation, oceans, etc. Going to be a great tool.

November 8, 2021 4:25 am

NASA says: “We blame global warming!”

EXCEPTIONAL COLD WAVE ENGULFS 90% OF CHINA–BEIJING SEES SNOW 23 DAYS EARLIER THAN USUAL, NORTH AFRICA SUFFERS RARE NOVEMBER FLURRIES, + CONTINENT-SPANNING POLAR COLD SWEEPS AUSTRALIA
November 8, 2021 Cap Allon
“Expect lower maximum temperatures as we move to La Niña,” said BOM senior meteorologist Sarah Scully.
_________________________

Told you so – 8+ years ago. Earth is getting colder. It’s the Sun, not CO2.
We are governed by scoundrels and imbeciles.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/31/blind-faith-in-climate-models/#comment-1130954

AN OPEN LETTER TO BARONESS VERMA, OCTOBER 31, 2013
By Allan MacRae, B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng.
[excerpt]
So here is my real concern:
IF the Sun does indeed drive temperature, as I suspect, Baroness Verma, then you and your colleagues on both sides of the House may have brewed the perfect storm.
You are claiming that global cooling will NOT happen, AND you have crippled your energy systems with excessive reliance on ineffective grid-connected “green energy” schemes.
I suggest that global cooling probably WILL happen within the next decade or sooner, and Britain will get colder.
I also suggest that the IPCC and the Met Office have NO track record of successful prediction (or “projection”) of global temperature and thus have no scientific credibility.
I suggest that Winter deaths will increase in the UK as cooling progresses.
I suggest that Excess Winter Mortality, the British rate of which is about double the rate in the Scandinavian countries, should provide an estimate of this unfolding tragedy.
As always in these matters, I hope to be wrong. These are not numbers, they are real people, who “loved and were loved”.
Best regards to all, Allan MacRae

Last edited 2 months ago by Allan MacRae
fretslider
Reply to  Allan MacRae
November 8, 2021 4:44 am

I’d say, despite your best intentions, this will be lost on a party animal. While she is “Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change”, she isn’t really dealing with climate as such…

“Baroness Verma has a strong interest in diversity, gender issues and international affairs, particularly in the South Asian Region and Africa.”

https://www.expertimpact.com/experts/baroness-verma/

She covers the diversity and gender aspects. For example

“My Lords, the Government are committed to taking decisive action on climate change. Our electricity market reform is the biggest change to the UK electricity market since privatisation and is needed to ensure that we have a diverse …”

Baroness Verma extracts from Climate Change (Thu 25th Apr 2013) (parallelparliament.co.uk)

The very best of luck getting anything from one of the snouts in the trough, Allan.

fretslider
November 8, 2021 4:31 am

NASA will continue to work with USGS to strengthen and improve accessibility to Landsat data so decision makers in America – and around the world – better understand the devastation of the climate crisis”

Talk about a foreskin conclusion. Why bother spending all that money on a launch and a[nother] satellite?

One must assume that previous Nasa posts…

Results showed that carbon dioxide fertilization explains 70 percent of the greening effect, said co-author Ranga Myneni, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. “The second most important driver is nitrogen, at 9 percent. So we see what an outsized role CO2 plays in this process.”

Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds | NASA

Have proven to be utterly false and now CO2 in fact has an outsized role in global devastation

November 8, 2021 4:59 am

Those new images will also provide fodder for know all academics to dictate how we use our own land and farming practices. I predict Lysenko part II

2hotel9
November 8, 2021 5:20 am

Great imaging, very useful, at least to someone who does not have their head up their a$$ like this Applegate moron. When you have already your political agenda firmly in place and use EVERYTHING you can find to push that political agenda you are not a scientist.

Ric Werme(@ricwerme)
Editor
November 8, 2021 5:26 am

Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2), which detects thermal radiation in two wavelengths to measure Earth’s surface temperatures and its changes.

I wonder if that will be able to give accurate surface temperature readings over most of the cloud-free areas, including over water.

That would be a very useful feature to combine with the microwave “lower” troposphere data from GOES satellites. Not to mention checking our current ground temperature “capability.”

I’ll look into that when I have time.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ric Werme
November 8, 2021 8:32 am

I wonder if that will be able to give accurate surface temperature readings over most of the cloud-free areas, including over water.

With calibration against reliable temperature measurements, we should be able to learn a lot. However, what TIRS-2 will provide is the actual skin temperature of features in the scene, not the associated air temperatures. That is, the asphalt pavement may be hot enough to fry an egg while your head just experiences a tolerable 100 deg F. TIRS-2 will provide the temperature of the asphalt.

Previous Landsat satellites have had thermal imagers. However, there hasn’t been a lot done with the data. Consequently, there was considerable debate about not even bothering with a thermal imager on Landsat.

H. D. Hoese
November 8, 2021 6:29 am

When Landsat first came out the worry was that it would not be adequate for obtaining subsurface data. Satellites have been another excuse for not going to sea, not sure how much this one will further the problem. Among others was trying to discern types of plant associations. One of the first this will document is the large freeze kill of Gulf of Mexico mangroves moving north and inland since 1989. Brown versus green doesn’t take much spectrum precision. There are some uses, still doesn’t replace being there.

Walker, N. D., et al., 2005. Effects of river discharge, wind stress, and slope eddies on circulation and the satellite-observed structure of the Mississippi River Plume. Journal of. Coastal Research. 21(6):1228–1244.

AndyHce
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
November 8, 2021 1:21 pm

do you mean a decision to not bother with ground level observations and measurements or are you saying something about the ocean?

Tom Abbott
November 8, 2021 7:29 am

From the article: “NASA will continue to work with USGS to strengthen and improve accessibility to Landsat data so decision makers in America – and around the world – better understand the devastation of the climate crisis”

What devastation?

The only climate crisis devastation is to the bank accounts of taxpayers who are being forced to waste Trillions of dollars on a bogus climate change crisis, when that money could be better spent elsewhere, and spent on something that is real.

Tom Abbott
November 8, 2021 8:35 am

The Sun seems to be playing heck with my satellite television today, the news is reporting the Northern Lights are prominent.

Clyde Spencer
November 8, 2021 8:41 am

“This program has the proven power to … – better understand the devastation of the climate crisis, manage agricultural practices, preserve precious resources and respond more effectively to natural disasters.”

This is a change from the original purpose of the Landsat series, which included exploring for resources, not preserving them. How are we going to build all the wind turbines, batteries, EVs, and photovoltaic farms if our primary goal is to “preserve” the resources necessary for their production?

Bruce Cobb
November 8, 2021 9:09 am

Do they take courses in how not to do science, or does it just come naturally to them?

Coach Springer
November 8, 2021 10:17 am

A tool for for hurried conclusions leapt at by activist scientists, perhaps?

Peta of Newark
November 8, 2021 10:34 am

Quote:”They provide a preview of how the mission will help people manage vital natural resources and understand the impacts of climate change”

No they won’t. They will only work to make matters worse until a genuine handle is got as to what Climate Change actually is and what is really causing the observed effects.

e.g. Concerning the mangroves mentioned- how does Sputnik know whether Climate Change got them, a Chainsaw Chain or simply a muppet in a Hymac looking to build a hotel?

In any case, wouldn’t a few drones get much better pictures, at much less money and considerably less use of the word ‘critical

It really is possible to ‘oversell’ things – as in
Methinks the lady doth protest her….. blah blah….. a little too much

DMacKenzie
November 8, 2021 10:44 am

They don’t mention it, but the optics are super for tracking individual people on a sidewalk or in a crowd…daytime or nightime….the last generation could barely track vehicles on a highway…causing some Predator drones to miss their targets….Climate stuff is just for the media…

Last edited 2 months ago by DMacKenzie
Scott
November 8, 2021 12:58 pm

Military applications great. Especially for the hundreds of Chinese academics in the USA with access through the Universities. Targeting heaven.

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