Why are some Landsat browse images black?

Black browse images are night (ascending) scenes, which are occasionally acquired for WRS-2 rows 123 to 246. Ascending scenes are available to download; see this FAQ for more information on searching and downloading ascending scenes.

 

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How do I search for and download Landsat data?

Landsat data products held in the USGS archives can be searched and downloaded at no charge from a variety of sources. Visit the Landsat Data Access web page for information about how Landsat data products can be downloaded individually or in bulk. Landsat imagery not found in the USGS archive might have been collected by one of the USGS...

How do I search for and download ascending (nighttime) Landsat scenes?

Ascending (nighttime) WRS-2 Path/Row numbers are different from descending (daytime) Path/Rows. Cloud cover values for Landsat night scenes will always be zero. If you know the daytime path/row or coordinates and want to know the nighttime path/row, use the WRS-2 Path/Row to Latitude/Longitude Converter . Use EarthExplorer to search using path/row...

What are LandsatLook images?

LandsatLook images are full-resolution .jpeg files that are included as options when downloading Landsat data from EarthExplorer , GloVis , or via the LandsatLook Viewer . These are useful for simple visual interpretation without the need for specialized software. LandsatLook products include: LandsatLook "Natural Color" Image (3-band composite)...

What are some known issues that users might find in Landsat data?

A number of artifacts and anomalies can happen to any remote sensing data. Banding, dropped scan lines, and detector failures are only a few of the anomalies that can be seen in Landsat data. Go to Landsat Known Issues for details about anomalies that have been discovered and investigated.

Why is there so much color variation among the Landsat browse images?

A custom color stretch is performed on the images, based on individual scene content. Scenes from within the same area and/or acquisition date might vary in band content (due to differences such as cloud content or ground moisture). This differing content will cause variation in the results of the color stretch. Pixelation is an artifact of the...

What are the best Landsat spectral bands for use in my research?

The Spectral Characteristics Viewer is an interactive tool that can be used to visualize how the bands--or channels--of different satellite sensors measure the intensity of the many wavelengths (colors) of light. This is also known as the relative spectral response (RSR). By overlaying the spectral curves from different features (spectra), one can...
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April 18, 2018

Landsat in Action - The Accuracy of Landsat with Jeff Masek

Landsat 9 Project Scientist Jeff Masek discusses the ways Landsat data is used and how important it is to have high quality data.
 

March 23, 2018

Landsat in Action - The Importance of Landsat with Curtis Woodcock

Boston University Professor Curtis Woodcock talks about the significance Landsat was had in science and what he hopes to see as the mission continues.
 

February 27, 2018

Landsat's Calibration and Validation

Engineers and scientists from both Landsat and Sentinel missions are working together to calibrate observation data and validate its quality to improve the science using these resources.
 

December 31, 2017

Landsat Collections

Landsat Collections: Providing a Stable Environmental Record for Time Series Analysis

This video introduces the new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat Collection 1 inventory structure. Collection 1 required the reprocessing of all archived Landsat data to achieve radiometric and geometric consistency of Level-1 products through time and across all Landsat sensors

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September 19, 2017

Landsat Collections — What are Tiers?

This is the third video in a series describing the new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat Collection 1 inventory structure. Collection 1 required the reprocessing of all archived Landsat data to achieve radiometric and geometric consistency of Level-1 products through time and across all Landsat sensors. This video explains how Landsat Collection Level-1 data products

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Photograph of the United States at Night
September 9, 2016

Photograph of the United States at Night

The importance of electric power is demonstrated by this view from space of lights across the continental United States at night. Credit: NASA

Image: Night Sky at Cheyenne River
May 11, 2015

Night Sky at Cheyenne River

Night sky at USGS streamgage 06408650, Cheyenne River near Scenic, SD.

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November 28, 2018

Landsat World Reference System - 2 Ascending (Nighttime) Shapefile

Landsat World Reference System - 2 Ascending (Nighttime) Shapefile

See the Landsat Path/Row Shapefiles web page for more information.