Tag Archives: data

Landsat Launch Success! Incredible View!

Landsat 8, separating from the rocket

The view from the Atlas rocket, towards the just released Landsat 8 satellite. Incredible view, and timing, with the sun appearing behind the "crescent Earth" just moments after satellite separation. Click for a larger view.

Everyone at USGS EROS (Earth Resource Observation and Science) Center had been looking forward to today for a long time…years in fact.  With the Landsat 5 satellite recently decommissioned after an incredible 28 year run…with Landsat 6 somewhere at the bottom of the Pacific, and with Landsat 7 operating with a crippled instrument, USGS EROS, and Earth Science in general, NEEDED a successful Landsat 8 launch.   Today, we got that successful launch.

The “Landsat Data Continuity Mission”, soon to be dubbed “Landsat 8″ once NASA transitions satellite control to the USGS, launched today from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.  Everything has gone flawlessly so far.  No delays in the countdown, great weather, and everything gone perfectly during launch.

Three “goosebump” moments for me today…

1) The final “OK”s from the mission engineers.  One by one, they went through a check of all systems, with each engineer replying with a “Check!!”.  That’s when you knew that after years of planning, you only had a few minutes before actual launch.

2) Actual launch, with multiple views showing the launch from a distance, camera on the rocket, etc.

3) My favorite moment, pictured above…separation of the satellite from the rocket.  The NASA announcer talked about the quiet and tension in the room in the few minutes leading up to this, as satellite separation can be a tricky stage.  Not only does it go flawlessly, but the views from the camera on the rocket, looking towards the satellite as it slowly moves away, were just stunning.  It separated somewhere over Europe, where it was night.  All you could see of the earth was a bright sliver in the distance, like a sliver of a crescent moon.  Then just about 15 seconds after separation, you seen the sun come out from behind the crescent, with the satellite and rocket in the foreground.

AMAZING.  GREAT day for USGS EROS!  Now we just have to hope the satellite checks out as flawlessly as the launch!!

Landsat Satellite Launch – Monday, mid-Day

Landsat Data Continuity Mission

A huge day for my USGS center tomorrow, with the launch of the Landsat 8 mission.

A very big day at work tomorrow (Monday).  I work at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.  We house the world’s largest collection of satellite imagery, providing both data and the science to support the use of the data.  USGS EROS was established 40 years ago, with a carefully selected site in the central part of the nation, to facilitate collection of satellite imagery. 

In 1972, the first “Landsat” satellite was launched.  It marked a milestone in environmental monitoring and assessment, as for the first time, synoptic, broad-scale, consistent observations of the Earth’s surface were available.  Several subsequent Landsat missions have followed, with one mission (Landsat 5) finally ending recently after a remarkable 28 years of continuous data collection (not bad for what was thought to be a 5-year lifespan at most).  Landsat 6, launched in the early 1990s, never achieved orbit and is currently at “home” somewhere at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.  Landsat 7, a flagship mission for USGS EROS, experienced sensor problems a few years ago, and now collects only partially degraded imagery. 

Tomorrow, Monday, February 11th, at around noon central time, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.  The mission will officially be termed Landsat 8 after a successful launch and a transition of control t0 USGS.  The mission is a partnership between NASA and USGS, with NASA leading the design, construction, and launch of the satellite.  We at USGS control the mission after launch, collect the data from the satellite, and distribute it to the public.

A big day, not just for USGS EROS, but for Earth Science.  Landsat imagery have been used for countless different applications over the years, and with Landsat 8, we’ll be able to provide the data and science for years to come.  If you get a chance, check out the launch tomorrow on NASA TV.

Climate Skeptic Converted: Still a Jerk

Temperature Data

Muller and the Berkeley group have simply replicated what everybody else has already shown with temperature data, yet Muller says until his results, people should have been skeptical.

I previously posted that Richard Muller, a former skeptic that the earth was warming, was “converted” when he himself conducted a 2-year study to examine global temperature data.  Prior to conducting his own investigation, he claimed skepticism over the way the data were analyzed.  After his group examined the data themselves, they came to the exact same conclusions as every other climate scientist…the earth is warming. 

So why am I saying he’s still a jerk?  When asked about the study, Muller said “The skeptics raised valid points and everybody should have been a skeptic two years ago.”   He goes on to say “and NOW we have confidence that the temperature rise that had previously been reported had been done without bias.”

Muller really sounds like a jerk.   Practically every climate scientist on the planet had looked at the temperature data and saw the obvious conclusion that the earth is warming.  But Muller is basically implying that there could be no confidence in the temperature data until HE looked at it.  Scientists can be pompous jackasses.   Some skepticism is obviously good in science, as all theories need to be examined with a critical eye.   But what Muller is basically saying is that it is HIS approach that has somehow confirmed the temperature rise in the data, and that previous efforts should be examined with skepticism…despite his results looking EXACTLY like previous results.

I guess when you’ve made as much of a fool of yourself like Muller did, this is his own personal way of saving face.

Climate skeptic proves himself wrong

Muller - Berkeley Temperature Data

Even the most ardent of climate skeptics, such as Muller, can't refute the data once they analyze it themselves.

Richard Muller is a U.C. Berkeley physicist and self-proclaimed climate idiot skeptic.  Muller simply didn’t believe climate scientists’ interpretations of temperature data, so he started a project to examine temperature data, with money coming in from no other than the Koch Foundation…the Koch brothers who have funded other studies to discredit climate science.

Climate idiots skeptics hailed the research as something they could eventually point to, something that would show some kind of scientific fraud or misrepresentation of climate data.  TOO BAD climate idiots skeptics.  Even Muller couldn’t dispute what he found by looking at the data himself…that the world IS indeed warming, and there is NO doubt that the climate data is sound.

Will this stop climate idiots skeptics from spouting complete lies?  Will this stop those with a monetary interest in keeping the status quo, such as the Koch brothers, from funding other “science” studies?  Hell no, they’ll keep pouring millions of dollars into attempts to discredit climate science.   But let’s face it, climate idiots skeptics, you really don’t have much of a leg to stand on.  ANY attempt to look at the data with an unbiased eye reveals the obvious…that the climate is warming, and that we are contributing through our actions.