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Questions tagged [earth-observation]

Space-bound facilities such as ISS, SWARM are particularly well-suited to assist in Earth observation. Observation need not necessarily be optical. Other parts of the electro-magnetic spectrum, Infra-red, Ultra-violet, Radio/Micro-wave etc _too_ may be used to study the Earth.

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How to calculate azimuth and elevation angles from satellite point of view of a ground station?

How to find azimuth and elevation from satellite of a ground station when yaw, pitch, roll, lat, long position of satellite and lat, long position on ground are given? ...
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Which Live satellites can the public view of earth? [closed]

Does anybody know if there is a LIVE satellite? Like a cross between Google Earth (zoom) and GOES 16 (LIVE)? So WE can see what's really going on around here? I want to see inside of the crater in ...
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How will the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON)'s Michelson interferometer measure wind speed?

The NASA Spaceflight article ICON resets for October launch from the East Coast indicates that the Ionospheric Connection Explorer is scheduled to launch in October 2018 from an airplane! (Pegasus XL)....
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Does NASA really measure PM2.5 concentrations from space?

Particulate air pollution is a serious health concern, especially the particles small enough to remain in the air as it reaches the deepest, smallest areas in the lungs. These particles can cause ...
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Does NOAA still plan to deploy all twelve Cosmic-2 GPS radio occultation satellites?

In the 2014 Space News interview of Jim Bridenstine (now NASA administrator, then member of the US house of representatives for Oklahoma) Q&A With Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) appears: Space ...
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How will Icarus aboard the ISS track bird migration?

The question Is it possible to see animals from space? has several answers, and they are all based on optical imaging. In this answer I describe and show images from the First count of individual ...
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Earth-based lightning on the Space Station channel

When watching the NASA channel (such as on YouTube) you see clouds and occasionally land forms. Why is it we never see electric storms on Earth ?
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Has the Earth's red atmosphere rim ever been photographed?

In the Wikipedia article on Lunar eclipse there's given an image of how the Earth would look from the eclipsed Moon: This is obviously a schematic drawing. So I wonder, has the Earth ever been ...
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Why do the LAGEOS' satellites have four germanium corner cube reflectors out of over 400?

When I was writing this answer about the LAGEOS satellites, I noticed that only four of the over four hundred corner reflectors are made of optical germanium rather than fused silica. Fused silica (...
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Why does MODIS have two channels covering a band of 3929nm to 3989nm?

While working my way through the technical specification of the MODIS sensor (Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) in the Terra and Aqua missions, I noticed that band 21 and 22 seem to cover ...
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What are the optimal times and conditions to listen for whistlers?

I have an NASA Inspire VLF-3 radio receiver kit that I'm going to put together. It amplifies VLF electromagnetic signals that are already in the audio frequency range and makes them audible. One of ...
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How does a spacecraft like Worldview-3 manage 29 different spectral bands? One giant filter wheel, or…?

@Jack's answer mentions 29 separate spectral bands for the Worldview-3 satellite, and that these are implemented using filters. Is there one giant 29+ position filter wheel incorporated into a single ...
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Why are the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite's solar panels angled so strangely?

The Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (or GPM) spacecraft (1, 2) has two solar array panels. They extend from opposite sides and one is tilted with respect to the other. This is a slightly ...
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How can satellites measure the energy of individual ~100 MeV gamma ray photons with reasonable certainty

This answer states: From the AstroMEV website: Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) are high-energy photons originating from the Earth's atmosphere in association with thunderstorm ...
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How will EarthNow LLC obtain its real-time video of Earth?

The New York Times article Asteroids and Adversaries: Challenging What NASA Knows About Space Rocks led me to read further about Nathan P. Myhrvold which led me to the interesting This American Life ...
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What are these bright streaks in MODIS Earth images? Why are they shaped this way?

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua (EOS PM-1) satellite generates images of most of the Earth each day, though there are small gaps near the equator where the ...
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Can ISS astronauts see the lava from the Kilauea volcano at night?

The google news said "Lava from the Kilauea volcano can be seen from space" but it just links to the YouTube video of the same name. The screen shot of the video below shows a small ESA credit at the ...
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Where is the camera on the MarCo cubesat that took this “pale blue dot” type of photo of the Earth and the Moon?

Where is the camera on the MarCo cubesat that took this "pale blue dot" type of photo of the Earth and the Moon? Is there an official NASA web site for photos from the MarCo cube sats? This one is ...
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How can GEDI be considered a carbon-monitoring instrument?

EDIT: According to a new, 17-May-2018 item in Science: That NASA climate science program Trump axed? House lawmakers just moved to restore it. Quoted in both Phys.org: NASA program to track ...
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Orbits that allows observation of a polar region

If a mission is only interested in a single polar region of a planet, what kind of orbit would be most fitted for the satellite. The first things that comes to mind is a polar orbit, but then it ...
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Hovering Carbonite! Why do these satellite videos of Earth appear to be made from a geostationary location?

The BBC News article UK satellite makes HD colour movies of Earth has led me to a series of YouTube videos as well recorded by the Carbonite-2 spacecraft built by Surrey Satellite Technology to be ...
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Could a spy satellite in orbit be recommissioned to do astronomy?

Since the National Reconnaissance Office offered NASA a left-over Hubble sized mirror that might be used for the WFIRST space telescope, I wonder if the NRO has satellites in operation that could do ...
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Can we expect shots from Starman that include the Earth and Moon together?

Just as the question asks. Will the Roadster get anywhere near, or be in any planned position to capture images of the Earth and Moon in the same field of view? A sort of "family photo" :)
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What is the Telescope Invariant Point?

I am working on an implementation of an SLR tool. At some points of the documentation of the CRD format the term telescope invariant point shows up. Apparently it's a point on an ILRS antenna system. ...
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Inexplicable Offset in Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) observations

I am struggling with the implementation of a Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) validation tool. The situation is as follows: I am provided with a framework which gives me the position of a SLR ...
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Reason for satellite passes at the same local time each day?

Is there any specific reason especially for the remote sensing satellites passing at the same local time over a particular place each day? I have some experience measuring the radiance received by ...
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What caused this bright light from the ground at night seen from the ISS?

The music video on the NASA Johnson YouTube channel The Sound (& Visions) of Silence shows images and video of Earth taken from the ISS by astronauts Sergey Ryazanskiy, Paolo Nespoli, and ...
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Has an astronaut ever seen pixies, ELVEs, sprites or blue jets (without a camera)?

The NASA Science video ScienceCasts: A Display of Lights Above the Storm shows several examples of Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) (Upper Atmospheric Lightning) being filmed by high-sensitivity ...
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Could spy satellites be blinded? For example by search lights?

Assume that Doctor Evil insists on dancing outdoors although he has been forbidden by the UN to do so. And that spy satellites can observe this against Doctor Evil's volition. Could Doctor Evil keep ...
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Have LAGEOS' germanium corner cube reflectors ever been used?

When I was writing this answer about the LAGEOS satellites, I notices that four of the over four hundred corner reflectors are made of optical germanium rather than fused silica. Fused silica (FS) ...
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1answer
166 views

Why do the solar panels on the seven Sentinel configurations look so completely different from each other?

I understant that these six different Earth-observing satellite platforms measure and image Earth data differenty, but there is just such a wide variety of different ways to build solar panels and ...
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How could the recently explained “glints” seen by DSCOVR appear so compact considering the finite size of the sun?

The discussion section of the very recent, on-line-available Terrestrial glint seen from deep space: oriented ice crystals detected from the Lagrangian point Alexander Marshak, Tamás Várnai and ...
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Are there ANY verified satellite images of visible light coherent backscattering from Earth?

Coherent backscattering is an optical phenomenon which is a bit complicated and as far as I know is pretty difficult to demonstrate in visible white light images. Image below from here. According to ...
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How do I calculate pointing and stability requirements for a platform (Cubesat, UAV) if we know sensor details (IFOV, Integration Time etc)?

My project involves developing a multi-mission modular satellite bus. I have couple of payloads under consideration and have the necessary sensor details. Based on that I am trying to figure the ...
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What causes these faint, straight line artifacts in Suomi NPP images of Earth at night?

This is an image of the UK taken by the Suomi NPP satellite's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) in 2012: There are faint lines emanating from Scotland and northern England, with a ...
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Is it possible to see animals from space?

Will satellite imagery be able to see the backs of big animals such as lions, tigers, elephants, horses or zebras from space when they venture out in the open? I've not been able to find satellite ...
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How can the CYGNSS spacecrafts (actually) measure ocean roughness?

The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System is a group of 8 smallsats which will orbit near the equator (inc=30°) and work as a constellation to take data on typhoons and hurricanes. While they are ...
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How can ISRO's RISAT satellites search for the lost IAF AN-32?

The Indian Air Force has lost contact with AN-32 (transport aircraft) on a mission. ISRO is going to deploy RISAT to search for the missing plane as the search area has widened. How will such ...
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Could an ISS astronaut photograph something like this 1km “Van Gogh” if they knew it was there?

At the end of December 2015, a giant "painting" made of 4 million color-sorted recycled bottles was put on display in Keelung, Taiwan. The Indian Express says it's 53 hectares, which is 530,000 square ...
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How much resolution did gravitational maps of Earth have before GRACE?

Today, our highest-resolution gravitational maps of the Earth are from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) project, launched in 2002. Before GRACE, how fine was the resolution of ...
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Is it possible to deliver enough LEO satellites with one launch to substitute for one in GEO?

Rough estimates shows that having around one hundred satellites would be enough to observe a single spot on Earth continuously and via peer to peer communication deliver that information to an earth-...
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Examples of short satellite durations?

In the past I (think) I've read of artificial satellites which are designed to go into orbit quickly to deal with a short term need for observation of some type. I'm now struggling to find a ...
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How is satellite data used to find drug crops?

Almost all leaves are a pretty similar shade of green, and from the altitude of a satellite a single pixel must be bigger than a whole bush. Yet satellite imagery has become central to detecting ...
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Minimum number of satellites to image the entirety of Earth's surface at all times

The simplest solution would be a tetrahedron, but as the satellites all need to orbit in circles, it seems this configuration would only guarantee full coverage at one time. For simplicity, there's ...
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Will SMAP produce predictable satellite flares visible to the naked eye from the surface of the Earth?

The SMAP (Soil Moisture Active/Passive) satellite just deployed its 6 meters (19.7-foot) mesh reflector antenna today. The satellite orbits the Earth in Sun-synchronous retrograde near-polar, near ...
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Single-shot Blue Marble pictures

I was quite surprised to read in today's Earth Observatory Picture of the Day that the DSCOVR spacecraft, currently en route to the $L_1$ Lagrange point, will be the first spacecraft able to see the ...
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What is the NASA “free flying infrared sensor” that BBC News is referring to?

From Obama seeks to raise NASA Funding (BBC News): Nasa also wants to launch a free-flying infrared sensor to support the Landsat observations. What is this "free-flying infrared sensor" they are ...
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How many photographs are there of the whole Earth?

Most of the representations of the Earth from space that one sees are inventions, meant to clearly show the things people most want to see - the outlines of the continents, instead of mostly clouds as ...
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How can I calculate the Characteristic Energy to Sun-Earth L1?

Alternatively, does anyone know it? I'm asking in regards to the upcoming DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) mission scheduled to launch aboard a Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket in January 2015. DSCOVR is ...
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Elevation Angle from Earth Station antenna to Mars

I want to calculate the Elevation angle between Earth and Mars .I have the Mars and Earth exact position in space ,but need the elevation Angle from a specific Earth Station antenna ( e.g. canberra ...