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138 votes

Why did it take so long to notice that the ozone layer had holes in it? Which satellite provided the data?

I believe the discovery was made by orbiting satellite, but I'm not sure which one. That is not the case. Look at the author affiliation for the article to which you linked. The three authors of that ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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55 votes
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What caused this bright light from the ground at night seen from the ISS?

Well I confirmed via Google Maps that this is Mecca. As shown in the map and image below the roads align with those lighted in the image. The dark areas in the first image are steep hills to the ...
Josh King's user avatar
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38 votes
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Could Apollo astronauts see city lights from the Moon?

It appears the answer is "no". Apollo mission reports describe night-time lights from Earth orbit, but sightings at lunar distances are notably absent. For example, The sights in earth orbit were ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
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35 votes

Is it possible to see animals from space?

Yes, but it requires exceptional resolution. The GeoEye-1 satellite has 0.41 m resolution, and it has been used to count animals. Here you can see a picture it took of wildebeests: Image Credit: ITC ...
called2voyage's user avatar
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35 votes
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Has anyone in space seen or photographed a simple laser pointer from Earth?

Don Pettit mentioned a an experiment set up with the San Antonio Astronomical Society who pointed both spotlights and a blue laser pointer at the ISS, pictured below in a 5-10 second exposure: I ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
29 votes
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What is the name of the area on Earth which can be observed from a satellite?

What is the name of this line or this area? line A term for the line that's perfectly usable for this purpose is "horizon". The horizon, the line line separating the land from the sky, ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
28 votes

Could a spy satellite in orbit be recommissioned to do astronomy?

Surprisingly, yes, in at least a few limited cases. There are aspects of astronomy that could be done by pointing a spy satellite at solar-system objects besides the Earth. As any photographer will ...
uhoh's user avatar
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26 votes

Could a spy satellite in orbit be recommissioned to do astronomy?

Spy satellites are used to look at a really bright object: daytime Earth. This needs short exposure times, detector noise is no problem, and you want a B/W or full-color image. Astronomical ...
Hobbes's user avatar
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23 votes
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Is it possible to see animals from space?

It is technically possible to see big animals, but we are still far from being able to identify them without context information. For commercial satellites, the highest spatial resolution is 31 cm at ...
radouxju's user avatar
  • 346
23 votes

What is the name of the area on Earth which can be observed from a satellite?

What is the name of this line or this area? Typically, the part of the earth's surface that a satellite can view at any moment is known as its footprint, a term frequently used for remote sensing ...
Duncan C's user avatar
  • 347
21 votes

Could a spy satellite in orbit be recommissioned to do astronomy?

Yes! Gamma-ray bursts from deep space were actually first discovered by the VELA spy satellites looking for hidden nuclear tests. The original 1973 paper Observations of Gamma-Ray Bursts of Cosmic ...
Nicole Sharp's user avatar
20 votes
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Has the Earth's red atmosphere rim ever been photographed?

As discussed here, very few satellites have ever orbited at a higher altitude than the moon, making images from lunar orbiters our highest imagers of eclipses from orbit. In fact, in order to get a 1:...
Jack's user avatar
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17 votes
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What is your name? What is your quest? What is the story behind Satellite 1963-38C?

It was a secondary payload launched along with the first operational Transit navigation satellite (Transit 5BN-1) and was named, mundanely enough, Transit 5E-1. Mission goals were Measure ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
16 votes

Why did it take so long to notice that the ozone layer had holes in it? Which satellite provided the data?

To quickly summarise the answer: Nimbus 7 was the satellite involved - but it wasn't first. The ozone hole did not substantially materialise before the early-1980s - in retrospect the decline was ...
Andrew is gone's user avatar
15 votes

When did photographic film stop being used in satellites?

Zenit flights continued until 1994 http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Zenit/Zenitindex.php
A. Rumlin's user avatar
  • 7,863
14 votes
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Why does Himawari-8 have problems with the Sun from 19th February to 19th April?

Why around midnight... Because then the sun will be on the exact opposite site of the earth, from the satellites point-of-view. A=Satellite, E=Earth, S=Sun (not to scale ;) ) ...
Infrisios's user avatar
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13 votes
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At what minimum distance does the Earth appear star-like to the naked eye?

The visual acuity of a healthy human eye is about 1 arcminute (a full circle is 360°, 1 ° is divided into 60 arcminutes). A football with a diameter of 220 mm at a distance of about 775 m subtends an ...
Uwe's user avatar
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12 votes
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Have any Soviet-era astronauts reported seeing Earth's aurora or related luminescent atmospheric effects?

The earliest mention of the northern lights that I was able to find is the memories of the Voskhod-1 crew. «Наибольшее впечатление на всех нас произвело полярное сияние, которое нам удалось наблюдать ...
A. Rumlin's user avatar
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12 votes
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Star-shaped artifacts in SAR images of the "Suez Canal traffic jam seen from space"

Discrete Fourier techniques introduce errors in their terms that track with the sinc function. Any target in the image will produce side lobes like those in the following graph. Strong reflections ...
Craeft's user avatar
  • 473
11 votes
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Could an ISS astronaut photograph something like this 1km "Van Gogh" if they knew it was there?

I like @PearsonArtPhoto's answer, though the considerations about exposure time may not be correct. I was looking for something more visual. The website states an area of 0,53m² of the Van Gogh image,...
sweber's user avatar
  • 771
11 votes

Could Apollo astronauts see city lights from the Moon?

Beyond LEO, once you're a few Earth radii away, far enough to see the entire planet, its nightside is a featureless black, at least to conventional cameras, in every one of the dozens of photos at ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
10 votes
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Hovering Carbonite! Why do these satellite videos of Earth appear to be made from a geostationary location?

@BowlOfRed's comment nailed it. I'd thought about making an optical flow version but time does not allow, so I've just used screenshots and imageio found here. It looks like the spacecraft was ...
uhoh's user avatar
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10 votes
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What is this huge, red, blinking light structure on Earth seen from the ISS in this video?

Update: After quite a lot of searching I believe I've found the culprits! As suggested in the comments, they appear to be a series of very large power lines around the city of Zalantun in Northwest ...
Jack's user avatar
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10 votes
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Satellite inclination, 3D scanning of earth's surface

Your comment on this answer has, I think, led me to understand what you are really asking about. What I am saying is that, presuming the inclination to be ZERO (Plane of orbit parallel to the ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
9 votes
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Can ISS astronauts see the lava from the Kilauea volcano at night?

This is a photo of Kilauea taken from the ISS, by Drew Feustel: I can't see any obvious lava. It is possible to see hot lava from the ISS. Here's a nighttime photo of an eruption of the Etna (in ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
9 votes

Has anyone in space seen or photographed a simple laser pointer from Earth?

This has happened at least once, on March 4, 2012, there was an experiment to do just that. YouTube: ISS FLASH PROJECT (lower your volume first)
Tristan's user avatar
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9 votes
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How do I get the Landsat satellite's images of the Earth?

Head over to the USGS website, and find yourself their nifty Earth Explorer webapp. Figure out where & when you want to snag the imagery of (the tools they provide allow you to draw/designate an ...
Anton Hengst's user avatar
  • 10.9k
8 votes

How can the CYGNSS spacecrafts (actually) measure ocean roughness?

Addressing multipath has long been a challenge with regard to GPS. Carrying a GPS-enabled smartphone toward the heart of a large city results in GPS-estimated positions and altitudes that bounce ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 75.1k
8 votes

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. That's not the case. The latest GRACE gravity ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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