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Dynamic Events

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A special advantage enjoyed by astronauts versus unmanned satellites is the ability to observe and record dynamic events on the Earth’s surface. Opportunistic observations by astronauts on earlier space missions have provided unique views of volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, dust storms, and plankton blooms. Astronauts can scout and selectively photograph regions that lie off track and can interact with observers on the ground, providing a powerful and efficient way to observe such phenomena.

   
 

 
Rabaul Volcano
 

  Future Earth Observing Payloads
All Earth Observation images recorded from the International Space Station are cataloged and added to the database maintained at the Johnson Space Center by the Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory. Through digital technologies and global networks, the collection of images is available to scientists, educators, and the public at the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

The Destiny window and WORF provide unprecedented opportunities for remote sensing of the Earth. Future payloads integrated into the WORF may be operated remotely and autonomously or may take advantage of the astronaut presence for operation, or real-time configuration changes and payload maintenance.

References

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Bryant, D., L. Burke, J. McManus, and M. Spalding, 1998: "Reefs at Risk: A Map-based Indicator of Threats to the World's Coral Reefs." World Resources Institute, International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and United Nations Environment Programme, Washington D. C. [http://www.wri.org/indictrs/reefrisk.htm]

Charleson, R. J. and T. M. L. Wigley, 1994: "Sulfate aerosol and climatic change." Scientific American 270(2):48-57.

Eppler, D., D. Amsbury, and C. Evans, 1996: "Interest sought for research aboard new window on the world: the International Space Station." Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union 77: 121-127.

Evans, C. A., J. A. Robinson, M.J. Wilkinson, S. Runco, P. W. Dickerson, D. L. Amsbury, and K. P. Lulla, 2000: "The 1997-1998 El Niño: Images of floods and drought, in Dynamic Earth Environments" [http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/newsletter/DynamicEarth]: Remote Sensing Observations from Shuttle-Mir Missions (K. P. Lulla and L. V. Dessinov, eds.), John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp. 61-76, 262-263, 272-274.

Lowman, P. D., Jr, 1999: "Landsat and Apollo: the forgotten legacy." Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing 65:1143-1147.

Robinson, J. A., B. McRay, and K. P. Lulla, 2000: "Twenty-eight years of urban growth in North America quantified by analysis of photographs from Apollo, Skylab and Shuttle-Mir, in Dynamic Earth Environments" [http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/newsletter/DynamicEarth]: Remote Sensing Observations from Shuttle-Mir Missions (K. P. Lulla and L. V. Dessinov, eds.), John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp. 25-41, 262, 269-270.

Robinson, J. A., G. C. Feldman, N. Kuring, B. Franz, E. Green, M. Noordeloos, and R. P. Stumpf, 2000: "Data fusion in coral reef mapping: working at multiple scales with SeaWiFS and astronaut photography." Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments, Vol. 2, pp. 473-483. [http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/newsletter/
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Wilkinson, M. J., J. D. Wheeler, R. J. Charlson, and K. P. Lulla, 2000: "Imaging aerosols from low Earth orbit: photographic results from the Shuttle-Mir and Shuttle programs, in Dynamic Earth Environments" [http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/newsletter/DynamicEarth]: Remote Sensing Observations from Shuttle-Mir Missions (K. P. Lulla and L. V. Dessinov, eds.), John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp. 77-98, 263-265, 274-277.

Willis, K.J., Dickerson, P. W., and McRay, B.H., 1998-99: "Canyons,

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next Tectonic Processes and Craters
 

Rabaul volcano on the island of New Britain erupted unexpectedly in September 1994. The astronauts on board the STS-64 Space Shuttle mission first noted and then recorded the eruption using several camera systems. This image was taken near the peak of the eruption, and was later used by several scientists analyzing the dynamics of the eruption plume (STS064-116-64).