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Archive for January, 2008

Landsat Satellite Image Mosaic Reveals Antarctic

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

More than a thousand scenes captured during seven years of satellite observations have created the visually stunning true-color Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) by NASA, USGS, National Science Foundation (NSF) and British Antarctic Survey (BAS). The virtually cloudless satellite view of Antarctica’s frozen landscape provides much greater detail for the entire continent than ever before.

Read the Latest Story on the Discovery of Sub-Glacial Volcanic Eruption in Antarctica – January 20, 2008

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Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica


The mosaic is made up of about 1,100 satellite images from Landsat 7, nearly all of which were captured between 1999 and 2001.

Landsat Image - Pourquoi Pas Island, Antarctic Peninsula


Advances in satellite technology since the 1970′s have revolutionized scientific study of the Earth’s greatest natural laboratory. For example, movement of glaciers, previously measured by ground-based measurements or aerial photography, is now much better understood as a result of upgraded instruments on each new Earth-observing satellite. This will help society and world leaders make informed decisions and come up with strategies to cope with global change. The mosaic is made up of about 1,100 images from Landsat 7, nearly all of which were captured between 1999 and 2001. The collage of images contains virtually no gaps in the landscape, other than a doughnut hole-shaped area at the South Pole because the orbital limits of Landsat means that anywhere south of 83degrees cannot be imaged. LIMA shows virtually no seams between images. Each pixel’s color represents the true reflectance of light off the surface, a quality useful to scientists.


British Antarctic Survey

For educational materials related to the new Antarctic mosaic on the web, visit:

India Launches Israeli TECSAR Spy Satellite

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

India successfully launched an Israeli spy satellite into orbit on Monday January 21, 200. The launch of the TECSAR satellite by an Indian-made rocket was carried out in clear weather at 9:15 am local time (0345 GMT) from the Sriharikota space station in southern India.


TECSAR Satellite Sensor

TECSAR is a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Technology Satellite. The design, development and fabrication activities of the satellite were led by MBT Space, a division of the Israeli Aerospace industries with the participation of other high tech industries such as ELTA, Tadiran Spectralink, Rafael. The satellite is equipped with a SAR payload with the capability to see through the clouds and carry out day and night all weather imaging.

India wants to compete alongside the United States, Russia, China, the Ukraine and the European Space Agency in offering commercial satellite launch services.The successful launch showed that India had launch capability showed a major step forward in India’s efforts to penetrate the global satellite market.

Monday’s mission was the eleventh consecutive successful launch carried out by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, which is also slated to launch India’s first spacecraft to the moon, Chandrayaan-1, later this year. The first images will be transmitted after 14 days and will be the first of its kind from the most advanced systems developed in Israel.

India started its space programme in 1963, and has since developed and put its own satellites into space. It carried out the first successful launch of a domestic satellite, which weighed 35 kilograms, by an Indian-built rocket, in 1980.