GARRETSON, SD -
EROS Data Center scientists in Garretson have the first snapshots from a new satellite to place into their photo album.
Scientific history is developing at EROS Data Center.
"This is the culmination of 10-14 years of work for some people," EROS Director Frank Kelly said.
The first images from Landsat 8, taken more than 400 miles above earth, show in detail the diverse landscape of parts of Colorado and Wyoming. The images were taken on Monday. EROS received them Wednesday.
"It was a St. Patrick's Day and first day of spring gift to us," EROS Chief Scientist Tom Loveland said.
Technology on board Landsat 8 provides EROS with far clearer pictures than the Landsat 7 satellite EROS has relied upon for more than a decade.
"It's the difference between analog TV and HD TV, in terms of getting some high-fidelity of what you're looking at," Kelly said.
The EROS scientists were hoping that the first images from Landsat 8 would be of South Dakota, but the cloudy weather wouldn't permit it.
"That's the problem in a land remote-sensing mission, clouds are our nemesis," Loveland said.
But there will be plenty of clear skies over South Dakota in the coming weeks. And when it's fully operational by mid-May, Landsat 8 will be sending back some 400 images a day, giving EROS researchers an eyeful of earth for years to come.
EROS provides those images to scientists who are studying changes to the earth's landscape.
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