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Current Affairs

Landsat 9

Date: 01 October 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

NASA successfully launched earth monitoring satellite Landsat-9 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. 

 

Background

The first Landsat satellite was launched in 1972. The images clicked by the satellite have been made free and publicly available

 

Details

  • The Landsat satellites have helped in understanding how land usage has changed over the decades by taking images of earth.

  • The images of Landsat have benefitted farmers, researchers, policy analysts, glaciologists, and seismologists among many.

  • They have been used to study and monitor forests, coral reefs, glacial melting, water quality etc. This has been a major gift of the technology.

 

The Landsat 9

  • The Landsat 9 joins Landsat 8 to collect images of earth together. It takes 8 days to capture the images of whole Earth.

  • The instruments used by Landsat 9 are similar to Landsat 8 but the sensors are most advanced. They can capture images with greater colour depths and clarity.

  • The data collected from the satellite will help in understanding impacts of wildfire, coral reef degradation, the retreat of glaciers, and deforestation.

  • The satellite will make contact with the ground station every three hours and dump the data it has collected in form of pictures.

 

Instruments used

  • Operational Land Imager 2 (OLI-2): it will capture reflected sunlight from Earth’s surface to study near-infrared, visible and short wave spectrums.

 

  • Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2): it makes use of refractive telescope and photosensitive detectors to identify thermal radiation and measure Earth’s surface temperatures.

 

Role in monitoring climate change

  • It will help in identifying drought-prone areas in forests by studying the vegetation patterns.

  • It will help in understanding extent of burning during wildfire events.

  • Studying water bodies can help in monitoring extent of algal bloom and its effects.

  • Scientists can monitor the glacial melt events in Polar Regions as well as non-polar regions of the Earth.