Categories
Earth observation

Eyes in the sky

Just watched the Antitrust movie from the 90s, which perhaps was on the verge before web 2.0 became a reality. Prior to web 2.0, Internet was slow and it would take ages just to download a media file like a mp3-file using Napster or the like. Video streaming was simply not arrived, the technology wasn’t there yet.

In the movie, Synapse is going to change all that and allow instant broadcast from any device to anyone. Sounds familiar? Yes, today we can do that, using Skype and social media. Anyone can broadcast to the world from any device.

This was done using satellites and today there are thousands of them orbiting earth, doing a variety of jobs for us; telecoms, broadcasting like synapse did, monitoring sea levels, oil spill, changes in weather, spying on nations and so on. European Space Agency (ESA) have launched quite a few of the satellites up there, some for earth observation purposes.

Sentinel-2 satellites

The ESA Sentinel-2 mission is a land monitoring constellation of two satellites that provide high resolution optical imagery. The mission provides a global coverage of the Earth’s land surface every 10 days with one satellite and 5 days with 2 satellites, making the data of great use in on-going studies. The satellites are equipped with the state-of-the-art MSI (Multispectral Imager) instrument, that offers high-resolution optical imagery.

I’ve used a freely available on-line tool called Sentinel Hub, which basically systematize all the data coming from these satellites and allow me to look at the imagery downloaded from them.

Beautiful planet earth

The images are showing earth as simply stunning. There are so much nice places around the globe and we would miss this if it wasn’t for the eyes in the sky. Take a look:

Svalbard
Iceland
River in Iran
Longyearbyen
Rainbow Mountains in Peru
Bahamas
River in Iran
Jostedalsbreen, Norway
Longyearbyen
Fields in US
Tromsø, Norway

By hoyd

Communication Adviser at Norwegian Centre for Space-Related Education, a part of Andøya Space Center.