Earth  ID: 4271

Landsat-8 Long Arctic Swath

On June 21, 2014 - the summer solstice - when the Suns stays above the horizon of the Arctic for at least 24 hours, Landsat 8 acquired this unbroken swath of images. While much of the region is still frozen in June, the ice is in various stages of melting.

The Landsat 8 swath begins in Sweden and Finland, then crosses the Greenland Sea and Northern Greenland. The scenes then take us over North America, through Canada's Nunavut and Northwest Territories, before ending up offshore of British Columbia. In its entirety, the flyover is composed of 52 individual Landsat scenes and covers an area about 6,800 kilometers wide (4200 by 120 miles).

"These Landsat swaths provide stunning views of transitions across the most infrequently visited areas of our planet," said Jim Irons, NASA's project scientist for Landsat 8.

The full swaths offer a unique perspective by showing Earth as the satellite "sees" it on its orbital path. And like the view from a cross-country flight on an airplane, there are often clouds blocking the view of the ground.

"When you add the multi-temporal and historic nature of the Landsat data archive into consideration," Irons said, "the views become vital in observing seasonal and interannual changes to a region that is most sensitive to climate change."

Used Elsewhere In


Visualization Credits

Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC):
Lead Animator
Lead Data Visualizer

Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC):

Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA):
Lead Producer
Lead Writer

James R. Irons (NASA/GSFC):
Lead Scientist

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
Landsat-8/OLI/Band Combination 2,3,4 also referred to as: True Color
Observed Data - June 21, 2014
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of these series:

GCMD >> Location >> Arctic Ocean
GCMD >> Location >> Arctic
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version