Landsat 4 First Light Image over western Lake Erie
Landsat 4's first light image captured eastern Lake Erie, and the cities of Toledo, Detroit, and Windsor on July 25, 1982. Although the Landsat program had been collecting images of the Earth since 1972, this was the first time that the data could be depicted as a natural color image due to the new Thematic Mapper sensor onboard Landsat 4. The Thematic Mapper not only had an increased spectral resolution but an improved geometric resolution as well.
Wonder why this image looks different than a typical Landsat Scene? This data is classified as Landsat scrounge data. The original data processing system developed by General Electric was not ready in time to process new Landsat 4 data, so an alternative processing system was developed at NASA Goddard, known as the “scrounge system”. The system processed one TM scene per day and was in use for a year after launch until a more sophisticated system came online.
Learn more on the Landsat 4 web page