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Blog Archive

 

Radar in Earth and Planetary Science: An Intro

Heather Hunter • February 24, 2017

Heather Hunter explains how radar works and what it's used for on Earth and beyond.

CYGNSS Launch: The Human Side

John Noonan • January 11, 2017

What is it like behind the scenes before, during, and after the launch of a spacecraft?

GOES-R: What’s Next?

Heather Hunter • December 23, 2016

After a series of maneuvers in-orbit, GOES-R—now known as GOES-16—has reached its designated location in space. What happens next?

GOES-R: A GOES Primer

Heather Hunter • November 14, 2016

The current GOES-East and GOES-West have been faithfully providing continuous imagery and data on Earth and space weather for almost a decade. So, with the launch of the first of the next generation of GOES satellites, GOES-R, what is NOAA trying to accomplish?

State of NASA Earth Observation

Anna Scott • May 12, 2016

Anna Scott gets us up to speed on NASA's Earth-observing missions nearly 60 years into the satellite age.

Synthesizing DSCOVR-like Images Using Atmospheric and Geophysical Data

Steve Albers • April 20, 2016

Why does our planet look the way it does from space? How does light interacting with land, clouds, water, snow, ice, gases, and various aerosols all come together? One way to learn the answer is to try and synthesize DSCOVR's view from various "building blocks" of geophysical and atmospheric data.

UPDATED: ESA activates a new old space camera

Emily Lakdawalla • February 19, 2016

Inspired by the Mars Webcam on Mars Express, ESA's Cluster mission has turned on a camera on the Cluster spacecraft for the first time since their launch more than 15 years ago. UPDATE: It has now acquired images of Earth.

Two epic photos of Earth -- but which one is truer?

Emily Lakdawalla • December 29, 2015

Two images of Earth taken from different spacecraft at the same time illustrate differences in "true" color imaging among spacecraft.

December solstice: Viewing Earth's seasonal shifts from space

Emily Lakdawalla • December 22, 2015

It's fun to watch the seasons shift from space, and as of this year we have new ways to do that.

DSCOVR's Halo

Dave Doody • July 28, 2015

The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) has begun sending us fresh, whole-hemisphere images of our own fragile planet. Some sources say that the spacecraft is "orbiting" the L1 point. Dave Doody thinks this warrants some scrutiny.

DSCOVR mission releases first EPIC global view of Earth, more to come in September

Emily Lakdawalla • July 20, 2015

Five months after its launch, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission has successfully journeyed to the region of space where Sun and Earth gravitational attraction offset each other. From the vantage point of L1, DSCOVR's EPIC camera has captured its first full-globe view of Earth, and it's well, epic.

The OCO-2 First Light Spectra

David Crisp • August 15, 2014

Dr. David Crisp explains how NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) works, and what its first light spectra tells his team about the spacecraft’s performance.

Landsat 8 Looks at the Supermoon

Jason Davis • July 29, 2014

Why did Landsat 8, an Earth-observing spacecraft, turn its unblinking eyes toward the July 12 supermoon?

Reflecting on NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission, launching today

J. Marshall Shepherd • February 27, 2014

Former deputy project scientist and current science team member J. Marshall Shepherd tells us why missions like NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) are vital to our way of life.

SMAP Under Construction: Field trip to the Spacecraft Assembly Facility

Emily Lakdawalla • August 14, 2013

Yesterday I enjoyed my second-ever opportunity to suit up and enter the clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. On display were SMAP, an Earth orbiting radar mission, and ISS-RapidScat, which will perform a different radar experiment from the Space Station.

Beautiful science by Elektro-L

Vitaliy Egorov • August 08, 2013

Six months ago, I wrote about the Russian weather satellite Elektro-L, which has more than two years of successful experience in the geostationary orbit. Then I promised that I would be here to share the materials that we collected. I think it's time to deliver on the promise.

A rare clear day in Alaska

Emily Lakdawalla • July 12, 2013

NASA recently shared a gloriously detailed image of an unusual clear day in Alaska as seen from the Terra satellite.

Stationkeeping in Mars orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • June 27, 2013

It had never occurred to me to think about geostationary satellites in Mars orbit before reading a new paper by Juan Silva and Pilar Romero. The paper shows that it takes a lot more work to maintain a stationary orbit at an arbitrary longitude at Mars than it does at Earth.

Browsing Landsat data is a lot easier than I thought it was

Emily Lakdawalla • February 08, 2013

With the Landsat Data Continuity Mission scheduled to launch on Monday, there's been a lot of Tweeting about Landsat, and through one such Tweet I learned about a resource that I hadn't known existed before: the LandsatLook Viewer. This is a graphical interface to more than a decade worth of Landsat data, a tremendous resource for anyone interested in Earth's changing surface, natural or manmade.

Pretty picture: Jupiter photo from an unusual source

Emily Lakdawalla • December 26, 2012

A recently launched Earth-observing satellite is using the stars to practice its pointing, and caught a neat animation of Jupiter.

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