03 Sep '12, 6pm

NASA's Landsat 5 photographs Las Vegas from space from 1984 to 2009. Pretty crazy growth.

On March 1, 2009, NASA’s Landsat 5 satellite turned 25. Originally intended to last just three years, the satellite exceeded its life expectancy by 22. Although Landsat 5 needed the occasional software fix to continue functioning, by March 2009, it had provided images of our planet for a quarter of century. With a resolution of roughly 30 meters (100 feet) per image pixel, Landsat 5’s Thematic Mapper does not detect objects as small as individual houses or trees, but the sensor can detect land use changes, including forest clearing, replanting, and urbanization, over a wide area. Las Vegas, Nevada, provides an example of the sensor’s ability to monitor change over time. The Thematic Mapper captured these true-color, photo-like images on (top to bottom) October 22, 1984; May 29, 1989; June 28, 1994; May 9, 1999; June 7, 2004; and January 12, 2009. These images of the wester...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=37228

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