NASA’s long-serving Landsat mission marked another milestone at 1:40 p.m. EDT on March 18. The newest Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Earth-observing satellite, the eighth to carry the Landsat name, recorded its first image of the ground.
The natural-color images show the intersection of the United States Great Plains and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming and Colorado. In the images, green coniferous forests in the mountains stretch down to the brown plains with Denver and other cities strung south to north.
(The image on the right was created using green, near infrared and short wave infrared wavelength bands, displayed as blue, green and red, respectively. The false-color image shows Fort Collins and the bright, rusty red wildfire burn scar from the Galena Fire to the left of the reservoir. Courtesy NASA/USGS.)
The spacecraft carries two instruments, the Operational Land Imager and Thermal Infrared Sensor, which use advanced technology to improve reliability, sensitivity and data quality. They will be employed to measure global climate and land-use change. The image was recorded 35 days after LDCM was launched into orbit, marking a continuation of the program that has been running since 1972.
Top Image: The Landsat Data Continuity Mission satellite. Image courtesy NASA.