Satellites are only one way that meteorologists and scientists study the weather, and some of the images captured are pretty amazing for more than just forecasting.
These images here are not paintings. They are actually photos taken from the Landsat satellite, and scientists are calling them art.
Karen Ryberg, from the US Geological Survey, says, “They found images that were just spectacular. Fascinating parts of the world, beautiful images of the world, because of the patterns in the sand, or the sandstone, erosion and they thought, hey, this is a work of art.”
The satellite takes swath of data at 115 miles at a time. It travels about 4.7 miles per second. It constantly takes in new information.
“Landsat takes images of the entire earth and it covers the entire earth every 16 days and so there is a lot of the processing of the data,” says Ryberg.
Meteorologists look at the GOES satellite as a tool to forecast the weather, but Landsat is used more for collecting geographical data…Including for what happens in Center, North Dakota.
The picture on the left was taken in 1984, and the gray is where coal mining was going on. The other side shows a recent image and you can see that the coal mining has moved to the southwest of Center rather than just south.”
Ryberg adds, “There are a number of different bands of wavelengths of reflected energy coming from the earth and those bands can be combined in different ways to highlight different things. For example, if you’re looking at vegetation, you might combine certain bands that highlight healthy vegetation.”
This picture here is in California of a Desert the green color in the corner is agriculture, but there are lines around the purple. These are actually the lines of airplanes leaving contrails. The satellite was able to capture this picture just in time because contrails often do not stay long.
Landsat is just one satellite that constantly captures the important images that scientists use to learn more about this planet.
If you want more satellite pictures to view follow the link: https://eros.usgs.gov/imagegallery/earth-art-4