Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center


At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change and produce land change data products used by researchers, resource managers, and policy makers across the nation and around the world. We also operate the Landsat satellite program with NASA, and maintain the largest civilian collection of images of the Earth’s land surface in existence, including tens of millions of satellite images. 

What's New at EROS?


Eyes on Earth is a podcast covering a range of topics on remote sensing, satellite operations, and the science of Earth observation. Watch for new episodes every two weeks.

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Image of the Week

Image of the Week

It’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere. But in Antarctica, summer has just begun. Landsat imagery captured the distinct differences in sun angles observable during Antarctica's summer solstice

Antarctica Solstice


Date published: January 8, 2020

Space Debris Remains Ongoing Concern for Landsat, Other Satellites

Space, it turns out, can be a messy place.

Sixty years of manned and unmanned space flight have left a cosmic junkyard circling the planet. From spent boosters to the detritus of defunct satellites, collisions, and explosions, there are countless potential cataclysms waiting to happen as space debris travels at relative velocities approaching 18,000 miles per hour.

Date published: January 2, 2020

AVHRR Played Key Role in Influencing Trajectory of EROS Science

A few months back, in the fall of 2019, a handful of current and former staffers from the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center met at a gathering spot in Sioux Falls to remember an old friend.

Date published: December 24, 2019

A Decade from Above: Landsat Imagery from the 2010s

Another decade has come and gone.

The decade of the 2010s was a monumental one for the Landsat program, marking the first full decade of free and open data, the launch of Landsat 8, the release of...


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Year Published: 2019

Earth as art 6

Earth has a stunning variety of landscapes. The colors, patterns, textures, and shapes all make for intriguing artwork as seen from the perspective of space.Earth As Art shows not only what satellites capture in the visible wavelengths of light you and I can see, but also what’s hiding in the invisible wavelengths that Landsat sensors can detect...

U.S. Geological Survey, 2019, Earth as art 6—A unique and unconventional perspective of the Earth’s geographic attributes: U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 194, 42 p.,

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Year Published: 2019

Validating a landsat time-series of fractional component cover across western U.S. Rangelands

Western U.S. rangelands have been quantified as six fractional cover (0%–100%) components over the Landsat archive (1985–2018) at a 30 m resolution, termed the “Back-in-Time” (BIT) dataset. Robust validation through space and time is needed to quantify product accuracy. Here, we used field data collected concurrently with high-resolution satellite...

Rigge, Matthew B.; Homer, Collin G.; Shi, Hua; Meyer, Debra K.

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Year Published: 2019

Pre‐fire vegetation drives post‐fire outcomes in sagebrush ecosystems: Evidence from field and remote sensing data

Understanding the factors that influence vegetation responses to disturbance is important because vegetation is the foundation of food resources, wildlife habitat, and ecosystem properties and processes. We integrated vegetation cover data derived from field plots and remotely sensed Landsat images in two focal areas over a 37‐yr period (1979–2016...

Barker, Brittany S.; Pilliod, David; Rigge, Matthew; Homer, Collin G.