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Satellites, Shuttles, and Space Stations

Rockets put objects like satellites and space stations into space.

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A Satellite's Eye View

A Satellite’s Eye View  
Credit: NASA
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Landsat7photo.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

There’s nothing like a bird’s eye view to really see what’s happening. Satellites, like Landsat 7, are the ultimate way to view Earth from a distance.

Why It Matters

  • Satellites in the Lands at program have been acquiring Earth images since 1972.
  • It’s now possible to view the last 25 years of changes on Earth in GIFs on Google Earth. Learn more about the Timelapse project and GIFs here: http://world.time.com/timelapse/
  • By comparing images over time, we can see the changes that are taking place on our planet.
  • Most of these changes are the result of human activities.
  • Credit: USGS & NASA
    Source: http://landsat.usgs.gov/gallery_view.php?category=nocategory&thesort=pictureId
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Bear Glacier, Alaksa has been receding rapidly over the decades - Timelapse images taken by Landsat satellites over time (1950-2013) [Figure2]


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With the link below, learn more about Earth changes over time. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What does a satellite view do better than photographs taken on Earth’s surface?
  2. What do photographs taken on Earth’s surface show better than satellite images?
  3. What are some of the changes shown in this video that are the result of human activities? What is the activity that causes them?
  4. What does Hank Green talk about irrigation making the desert bloom like it’s a bad thing?
  5. Why does Mr. Green think that these images may lead people to take action to reduce human impact on the planet?

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