Indonesia: International Charter activated due to volcano eruption

Satellite image of volcano eruption

The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated in Indonesia on 13 February by one of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Offices, the Asian Disaster Reduction Center, in order to provide satellite-based emergency maps for a volcanic eruption in Indonesia. The mechanism was activated on behalf of the Indonesian Natio


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 17/02/2014 - 10:17

Australia: Wildfires cover area as big as Melbourne

satellite night image of fires in Australia

The summer heat in Australia brought high temperatures as well as strong winds to an already dry environment and created conditions for big fires. By yesterday almost 200,000 hectares had burned. The massive Snowy River Complex fire alone lights up an area of the size of Melbourne.


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Thu, 13/02/2014 - 14:14

Satellite Images: Detecting Vegetation Health through Fluorescence

ESA potential satellite to map fluorescence

A potential new ESA satellite could use the fluorescence in plants to track health and productivity of vegetation worldwide. A likely candidate for the eighth ESA Earth Explorer, the Fluorescence Explorer (FLEX) would thus provide data for global maps of vegetation.

Fluorescence gives an indication of a plant's health as it is emitted during the photosynthetic process. Measuring fluorescence is however challenging. ESA elaborates: "In fact, for years it was a challenge to detect this relatively small glow outside of the laboratory and over agricultural fields and forests."

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Wed, 12/02/2014 - 11:03

Landsat-8: First Year in Space

Lansat-8 image

A year ago NASA’s Landsat-8 satellite was launched into orbit. During this year scientists have been analyzing the data delivered by the satellite. They have calibrated the information against ground observations and information gathered from other Landsat missions.

The data files from the new satellite are larger than from the former Landsat missions. The researchers’ team will pre-process the data and create a Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD) which will allow scientists to preview data before downloading.

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Tue, 11/02/2014 - 13:31

Singapore: Developing first Earth Observation satellite

Satellite image of the Earth

Singapore is getting ready to launch its TeLEOS-1 Earth Observation satellite. TeLEOS-1 will be the first Singapore-made commercial satellite. The launch is planned for the end of 2014 on board of the Indian Space Research Organization’s Polar satellite launch vehicle. The satellite will carry an electro-optical camera with 1m ground resolution.


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Mon, 10/02/2014 - 07:26

Precipitation monitoring: On-ground research complements satellite accuracy

Estimation map of climate change induced increase in precipitation

As UN-SPIDER reported, NASA is preparing for the launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite in the end of February. The Satellite will be mainly used for rain- and snowfall observation and forecasting.

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Fri, 07/02/2014 - 10:20

INSAT 3D: First data and images available

INSAT 3D image of precipitation in India

The India meteorological spacecraft INSAT 3D - launched on 26 July 2013 - was declared operational on 15 January 2014.

The satellite carries a multi-spectral Imager, 19 channel sounder, Data Relay Transponder and Search and Rescue Transponder. The instruments are mainly used for meteorological purposes as well as for search and rescue. 


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Thu, 06/02/2014 - 13:16

Fires in Africa captured by a NASA satellite

Fires in West Africa

Agricultural burning is widespread in Africa and fires keep on breaking out in different regions.

This image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Sprectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on January 28, 2014 and shows the Sahel region in West Africa in the middle of its burning season. Fires are marked with red points, smoke is easily recognizable.

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Fri, 31/01/2014 - 13:12

ESA: Sentinel 1a to be launched in April

Sentinel 1 from the European Unions Copernicus Program

BBC reported last week that the launch of the multibillion Euro satellites programme Sentinel is set to launch in the beginning of April.

Publishing Date: 

Mon, 20/01/2014 - 16:30

NASA maps global temperature anomalies in US and Europe

MODIS image caught by NASA's Terra satellite shows the polar vortex over America
MODIS image caught by NASA's Terra satellite shows high temperatures in Europe

NASA satellite data shows the recent weather divergences on Earth - particularly in North America and Europe. At the beginning of 2014 the temperatures in the northern hemisphere showed how the atmosphere can produce two contrasting weather extremes at the same time. While in northern America the temperatures fell way below zero, most of Europe enjoyed temperatures of +10 degrees Celsius.


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Mon, 13/01/2014 - 14:03


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