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ESA Observing the Earth ESA Observing the Earth

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Giant A-68 iceberg three years on

10.7.2020 12:00   A-68A in open waters

The colossus iceberg that split from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf on 12 July 2017 is now in the open waters of the South Atlantic near the South Orkney Islands, about 1050 km from its birthplace. Having lost two chunks of ice, this record berg is a little less huge than it once was – and now that it is in rougher waters, it may break up further.

Earth from Space: Bay of Naples

10.7.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:01

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over the busy maritime traffic in the Bay of Naples, in southern Italy.
See also Bay of Naples, Italy to download the image.

Bay of Naples, Italy

10.7.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over the busy maritime traffic in the Bay of Naples, in southern Italy. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over the busy maritime traffic in the Bay of Naples, in southern Italy.

Satellites track unusual Saharan dust plume

9.7.2020 13:05   Aerosols from Saharan dust plume

Every summer, the wind carries large amounts of desert dust particles from the hot and dry Sahara Desert in northern Africa across the Atlantic Ocean. Data from the Copernicus Sentinel satellites and ESA’s Aeolus satellite show the extent of this year’s summer dust plume, dubbed ‘Godzilla,’ on its journey across the Atlantic.

Join the second online Global Space Economic Workshop

7.7.2020 8:30   NO2 concentrations over France

On 9 July at 9:30 BST / 10.30 CEST, join the second online Global Space Economic Workshop (GSEW) to discuss the value of Earth observation data during and after the COVID-19 crisis, how space data can help with monitoring the impacts of the pandemic and how this will assist the recovery in the post-COVID world.

Join the discussion on ESA web TV or ESA Space Economy.

Contracts awarded for development of six new Copernicus missions

3.7.2020 16:10   Copernicus Sentinels

Following the financial commitment from ESA Member States at last November’s Council at Ministerial Level Space19+, ESA’s industrial policy committee has approved contracts totalling €2.55 billion to forward the development of six new Copernicus satellite missions, each mission comprising two satellites, a development and a recurrent unit. 

Earth from Space: Ari Atoll, Maldives

3.7.2020 10:03   Video: 00:03:39

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, we explore the Maldives with Copernicus Sentinel-2.

See also Ari Atoll, Maldives to download the image.

Earth from Space: Ari Atoll, Maldives

3.7.2020 10:03   Video: 00:03:39

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, we explore the Maldives with Copernicus Sentinel-2.

See also Ari Atoll, Maldives to download the image.

Ari Atoll, Maldives

3.7.2020 10:00   The Maldives are featured in this image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. Image: The Maldives are featured in this image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.

Sulphur dioxide concentrations drop over India during COVID-19

1.7.2020 9:10  

Concentrations of sulphur dioxide in polluted areas in India have decreased by around 40% between April 2019 and April 2020. Using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, from the European Union Copernicus programme, scientists have produced new maps which show the drop in concentrations across the country in times of COVID-19.

Sulphur dioxide concentrations drop over India during COVID-19

1.7.2020 9:10  

Concentrations of sulphur dioxide in polluted areas in India have decreased by around 40% between April 2019 and April 2020. Using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, from the European Union Copernicus programme, scientists have produced new maps which show the drop in concentrations across the country in times of COVID-19.

Space App Camp 2020 goes digital

30.6.2020 14:50   Space App Camp 2020

ESA invites App developers and specialists in artificial intelligence and machine learning to apply to take part in this year’s Space App Camp, which will be held on 11–21 September. Like many events now, the App Camp will take place online. 

Space App Camp 2020 goes digital

30.6.2020 14:50   Space App Camp 2020

ESA invites App developers and specialists in artificial intelligence and machine learning to apply to take part in this year’s Space App Camp, which will be held on 11–21 September. Like many events now, the App Camp will take place online. 

Roter Kamm impact crater

30.6.2020 10:00   On Asteroid Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Roter Kamm impact crater in Namibia. Image: On Asteroid Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Roter Kamm impact crater in Namibia.

Roter Kamm impact crater

30.6.2020 10:00   On Asteroid Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Roter Kamm impact crater in Namibia. Image: On Asteroid Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Roter Kamm impact crater in Namibia.

Earth from Space: Peruvian Andes

26.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:47

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Andes mountains, in southern Peru, are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission

See also Peruvian Andes to download the image.

Earth from Space: Peruvian Andes

26.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:47

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Andes mountains, in southern Peru, are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission

See also Peruvian Andes to download the image.

Peruvian Andes

26.6.2020 10:00   The Andes mountains, in southern Peru, are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. Image: The Andes mountains, in southern Peru, are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.

Peruvian Andes

26.6.2020 10:00   The Andes mountains, in southern Peru, are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. Image: The Andes mountains, in southern Peru, are featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.

Take part in citizen science for food security

26.6.2020 9:00   Citizen science to help food security

The International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) and ESA, in partnership with the Wilson Center, the Earth Day Network and the US State Department, are giving citizens the opportunity to get involved in one of the world’s most challenging problems: ensuring a nutritious food supply to meet the needs of the growing global population.

Take part in citizen science for food security

26.6.2020 9:00   Citizen science to help food security

The International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) and ESA, in partnership with the Wilson Center, the Earth Day Network and the US State Department, are giving citizens the opportunity to get involved in one of the world’s most challenging problems: ensuring a nutritious food supply to meet the needs of the growing global population.

Space agencies join forces to produce global view of COVID-19 impacts

25.6.2020 14:00   COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard

In an unprecedented collaboration, ESA, NASA and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) have created a new tool that combines a wealth of data from Earth-observing satellites to monitor the worldwide impacts of COVID-19. This new online platform is now available to the public.

Space agencies join forces to produce global view of COVID-19 impacts

25.6.2020 14:00   COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard

In an unprecedented collaboration, ESA, NASA and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) have created a new tool that combines a wealth of data from Earth-observing satellites to monitor the worldwide impacts of COVID-19. This new online platform is now available to the public.

SMOS monitoring droughts

23.6.2020 16:19   Video: 00:03:00

In orbit for more than a decade, ESA’s Earth Explorer satellite SMOS has not only exceeded its planned lifespan, but also surpassed its original scientific goals. Built to demonstrate new technology in space and address gaps in our scientific understanding of how Earth works as a system, this remarkable mission is now also being used for a number of practical applications. With drought seemingly more commonplace, entrepreneurs are using information on soil moisture from SMOS and data from other satellites to generate commercial data products for the insurance market, ultimately bringing benefits to farmers.

This video includes interviews of :

Klaus Scipal: SMOS Mission Manager, ESA, Soundbites in English & German

Thijs van Leeuwen: CEO of VanderSat – Soundbites in English & Dutch

Marcel Andriesse: Senior underwriter agri-culture Swiss Re -  Soundbites in English & Dutch

More information

Earth from Space: Great Rift Valley, Kenya

19.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:00:00

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya.

See also Great Rift Valley, Kenya to download the image.

Great Rift Valley, Kenya

19.6.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya.

Earth from Space: Great Rift Valley, Kenya

19.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:00:00

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya.

See also Great Rift Valley, Kenya to download the image.

Great Rift Valley, Kenya

19.6.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya.

Call for Media: ESA, NASA and JAXA to unveil COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard

18.6.2020 14:50  

Press Release N° 10–2020

ESA, NASA and JAXA invite the general public and media representatives to participate in an online media conference on Thursday, 25 June, at 09:00 EDT (15:00 CEST) where they will present a new dashboard that uses Earth observation data to show the impacts of COVID-19. This new platform will combine data, technical knowledge and expertise of the three space agencies to strengthen our global understanding of the environmental and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call for Media: ESA, NASA and JAXA to unveil COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard

18.6.2020 14:50  

Press Release N° 10–2020

ESA, NASA and JAXA invite the general public and media representatives to participate in an online media conference on Thursday, 25 June, at 09:00 EDT (15:00 CEST) where they will present a new dashboard that uses Earth observation data to show the impacts of COVID-19. This new platform will combine data, technical knowledge and expertise of the three space agencies to strengthen our global understanding of the environmental and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vega launch postponed until 17 August

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

A new launch date of 17 August 2020 has been announced by Arianespace for Vega flight VV16.

Tonight! Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: Tune in tonight to ESA Web TV to watch the return to flight of Vega on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites.

Today’s predicted meteorological conditions over Europe's Spaceport enable the consideration of resuming chronological operations for the Vega Flight VV16 launch. Subject to confirmation of favourable conditions, the new targeted liftoff is Sunday, 28 June at 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST (22:51 on 27 June Kourou local time).

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads are in stable and safe conditions.

Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Updated: Subject to favourable weather conditions, the soonest possible launch date for the SSMS proof-of-concept flight is Sunday 21 June from 02:36 BST / 03:36 CEST (20 June at 22:51 local time in Kourou). 

Please check here for updates.

Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: Tune in tonight to ESA Web TV to watch the return to flight of Vega on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites.

Today’s predicted meteorological conditions over Europe's Spaceport enable the consideration of resuming chronological operations for the Vega Flight VV16 launch. Subject to confirmation of favourable conditions, the new targeted liftoff is Sunday, 28 June at 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST (22:51 on 27 June Kourou local time).

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads are in stable and safe conditions.

Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: As high-altitude winds above Europe's Spaceport remain unfavourable, Arianespace has taken the decision not to initiate the final chronology operations for Flight VV16 on Sunday 20 June (19 June in Kourou).

A new target date will be announced as soon as possible, based on the evolution of weather conditions.

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads are in stable and safe conditions.

Please check here for updates.

Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: Arianespace has taken the decision to initiate the final chronology operations for flight VV16 on Sunday, 29 June at 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST (22:51 on 28 June Kourou local time). This is subject to a favourable evolution of the weather conditions.

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads are in stable and safe conditions.

Tune in to ESA Web TV to watch the return to flight of Vega on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites.

Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: Arianespace has taken the decision to initiate the final chronology operations for flight VV16 on Monday, 29 June at 02:51 BST / 03:51 CEST (22:51 on 28 June Kourou local time). This is subject to a favourable evolution of the weather conditions.

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads are in stable and safe conditions.

Tune in to ESA Web TV to watch the return to flight of Vega on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites.

Vega launch postponed

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: Arianespace has decided to postpone Vega flight VV16 due to unfavourable weather. A new launch date is to be announced. More information will be available soon.

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads remain stable and in total safety.

Vega launch postponed

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Update: Arianespace has decided to postpone Vega flight VV16 due to unfavourable weather. A new launch date is to be announced. More information will be available soon.

The Vega launch vehicle and its 53 spacecraft payloads remain stable and in total safety.

Watch Vega's rideshare launch live

17.6.2020 17:45   Artist's view of Vega flight VV16 with the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser

Updated: New launch date due to unfavourable weather at altitude above Europe's Spaceport. 

Tune in to ESA Web TV on Sunday 21 June from 02:36 BST / 03:36 CEST to watch the return to flight of Vega on its debut rideshare mission dedicated to light satellites.

Vega will lift off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana carrying 53 satellites on its new dispenser called the Small Spacecraft Mission Service, or SSMS.

SMOS monitoring droughts

17.6.2020 16:19   Video: 00:03:00

In orbit for more than a decade, ESA’s Earth Explorer satellite SMOS has not only exceeded its planned lifespan, but also surpassed its original scientific goals. Built to demonstrate new technology in space and address gaps in our scientific understanding of how Earth works as a system, this remarkable mission is now also being used for a number of practical applications. With drought seemingly more commonplace, entrepreneurs are using information on soil moisture from SMOS and data from other satellites to generate commercial data products for the insurance market, ultimately bringing benefits to farmers.

This video includes interviews of :

Klaus Scipal: SMOS Mission Manager, ESA, Soundbites in English & German

Thijs van Leeuwen: CEO of VanderSat – Soundbites in English & Dutch

Marcel Andriesse: Senior underwriter agri-culture Swiss Re -  Soundbites in English & Dutch

More information

FSSCat/Ф-sat-1 ready for launch

16.6.2020 9:35   Φ-sat

The first artificial intelligence to be carried onboard a European Earth observation mission will be launched this week from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The pioneering artificial intelligence technology named ɸ-sat-1, pronounced PhiSat-1, will be the first experiment to improve the efficiency of sending vast quantities of data back to Earth.

SEOSAT-Ingenio ready for shipment to Kourou

15.6.2020 11:20   SEOSAT-Ingenio ready for shipment

The Spanish high-resolution land imaging mission, known as SEOSAT-Ingenio, is currently at the premises of Airbus in Madrid, Spain and is ready to be packed and shipped to Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana – following the mission’s latest successful tests and final technical review. This is another significant milestone in preparing the Earth observation satellite’s ride into orbit on a Vega rocket.

Barcelona, Spain

12.6.2020 10:00   Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Barcelona – the second largest city in Spain.

On the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Barcelona occupies a low plateau along the Mediterranean coastal plain. The city and its red roofs contrast with the forested hills and the sea that surround it.

The famous Avinguda Diagonal avenue can be seen in the right of the image. The road is one of Barcelona’s broadest avenues and cuts the city diagonally in two, hence its name. The circular Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes  was meant to be the city centre in the original urban plan, but nowadays is used largely as a roundabout.

Dominating the left side of the image are the Garraf Massif mountains, their cliffs reaching the Mediterranean coast. Its highest point on the coastal side is La Morella – almost 600 m above sea level.

The Llobregat River can be seen entering the image in the top left. The river rises in the eastern Pyrenees and flows southeast before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. Before reaching the sea, the river forms a small delta, which used to provide a large extension of fertile land but is now largely urbanised. Barcelona-El Prat airport can be seen to the left of the river. Along the coast, the port of Barcelona, one of Europe’s top ten largest container ports, is visible.

Barcelona is home to the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – the largest engineering university in Catalonia. In 2017, the university won ESA’s Small Satellite Challenge and the top prize at the Copernicus Masters competition with its Federated Satellite Systems (FSSCat) project. The FSSCat mission consists of two small CubeSat satellites, each about the size of a shoebox, and will use state-of-the-art dual microwave and multispectral optical sensors.

Ф-sat-1 – an enhancement of FSSCat carried on one of the two CubeSats – is set to launch soon from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou. It will be the first experiment to demonstrate how artificial intelligence can be used for Earth observation. Ф-sat-1 will have the ability to filter out less than perfect images so that only usable data are returned to Earth. This will allow for the efficient handling of data so that users will have access to timely information – ultimately benefiting society at large.

Ф-sat-1 will acquire an enormous number of images that will allow scientists to detect urban heat islands, monitor changes in vegetation and water quality, as well as carry out experiments on the role of evapotranspiration in climate change.

This image, which was captured on 16 March 2017, is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Earth from Space: Barcelona

12.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:22

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain.

See also Barcelona, Spain to download the image

Earth from Space: Barcelona

12.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:22

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain.

See also Barcelona, Spain to download the image

Barcelona, Spain

12.6.2020 10:00   Image:

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Barcelona – the second largest city in Spain.

On the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Barcelona occupies a low plateau along the Mediterranean coastal plain. The city and its red roofs contrast with the forested hills and the sea that surround it.

The famous Avinguda Diagonal avenue can be seen in the right of the image. The road is one of Barcelona’s broadest avenues and cuts the city diagonally in two, hence its name. The circular Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes  was meant to be the city centre in the original urban plan, but nowadays is used largely as a roundabout.

Dominating the left side of the image are the Garraf Massif mountains, their cliffs reaching the Mediterranean coast. Its highest point on the coastal side is La Morella – almost 600 m above sea level.

The Llobregat River can be seen entering the image in the top left. The river rises in the eastern Pyrenees and flows southeast before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. Before reaching the sea, the river forms a small delta, which used to provide a large extension of fertile land but is now largely urbanised. Barcelona-El Prat airport can be seen to the left of the river. Along the coast, the port of Barcelona, one of Europe’s top ten largest container ports, is visible.

Barcelona is home to the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – the largest engineering university in Catalonia. In 2017, the university won ESA’s Small Satellite Challenge and the top prize at the Copernicus Masters competition with its Federated Satellite Systems (FSSCat) project. The FSSCat mission consists of two small CubeSat satellites, each about the size of a shoebox, and will use state-of-the-art dual microwave and multispectral optical sensors.

Ф-sat-1 – an enhancement of FSSCat carried on one of the two CubeSats – is set to launch soon from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou. It will be the first experiment to demonstrate how artificial intelligence can be used for Earth observation. Ф-sat-1 will have the ability to filter out less than perfect images so that only usable data are returned to Earth. This will allow for the efficient handling of data so that users will have access to timely information – ultimately benefiting society at large.

Ф-sat-1 will acquire an enormous number of images that will allow scientists to detect urban heat islands, monitor changes in vegetation and water quality, as well as carry out experiments on the role of evapotranspiration in climate change.

This image, which was captured on 16 March 2017, is also featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

Global air pollution maps now available

11.6.2020 12:30   A new online platform that allows for the tracking of air pollution worldwide is now available to the public. Image: A new online platform that allows for the tracking of air pollution worldwide is now available to the public.

Global air pollution maps now available

11.6.2020 12:30   A new online platform that allows for the tracking of air pollution worldwide is now available to the public. Image: A new online platform that allows for the tracking of air pollution worldwide is now available to the public.

Parking in a pandemic

9.6.2020 8:35  

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the tourism and travel industry to a near-standstill, with nationwide lockdowns significantly impacting the aviation and maritime industry worldwide. Satellite images, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, show parked aircraft and anchored vessels in times of COVID-19.

Safeguarding our oceans

8.6.2020 13:30   This image, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, takes us over the green algae blooms swirling around the Baltic Sea. Image: This image, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, takes us over the green algae blooms swirling around the Baltic Sea.

RACE dashboard now available

5.6.2020 12:05   Rapid Action on COVID-19 and Earth observation

The coronavirus pandemic constitutes an unprecedented challenge with severe societal and socio-economic consequences. In order to shed new light on these changes taking place, ESA and the European Commission have worked closely together to create the ‘Rapid Action Coronavirus Earth observation’ dashboard – also known as RACE. The platform, which was unveiled today during an online event, uses Earth observation satellite data to measure the impact of the coronavirus lockdown and monitor post-lockdown recovery.

RACE dashboard now available

5.6.2020 12:05   Rapid Action on COVID-19 and Earth observation

The coronavirus pandemic constitutes an unprecedented challenge with severe societal and socio-economic consequences. In order to shed new light on these changes taking place, ESA and the European Commission have worked closely together to create the ‘Rapid Action Coronavirus Earth observation’ dashboard – also known as RACE. The platform, which was unveiled today during an online event, uses Earth observation satellite data to measure the impact of the coronavirus lockdown and monitor post-lockdown recovery.

Colourful Queensland, Australia

5.6.2020 10:00   This image, captured by Copernicus Sentinel-2, takes us over part of Channel Country – a pastural region located mostly in southwest Queensland, Australia. Image: This image, captured by Copernicus Sentinel-2, takes us over part of Channel Country – a pastural region located mostly in southwest Queensland, Australia.

Earth from Space: Colourful Queensland

5.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:02

This week's edition of the Earth from Space programme features a Copernicus Sentinel-2 image over part of Channel Country – a pastural region located mostly in southwest Queensland, Australia.

See also Colourful Queensland, Australia to download the image.

Earth from Space: Colourful Queensland

5.6.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:02

This week's edition of the Earth from Space programme features a Copernicus Sentinel-2 image over part of Channel Country – a pastoral region located mostly in southwest Queensland, Australia.

See also Colourful Queensland, Australia to download the image.

Arctic Circle oil spill

5.6.2020 8:55   Images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission show the extent of the Arctic Circle oil spill Image: Images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission show the extent of the Arctic Circle oil spill

Watch live

4.6.2020 14:20   RACE dashboard

Watch live

Join the event on 5 June at 11:00 CEST, where ESA and the European Commission will present their new dashboard: Rapid action in response to coronavirus with Earth observation

Detecting methane emissions during COVID-19

1.6.2020 14:35   Methane concentrations over the Permian Basin

While carbon dioxide is more abundant in the atmosphere and therefore more commonly associated with global warming, methane is around 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas. Given its importance, Canadian company GHGSat have worked in collaboration with the Sentinel-5P team at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research to investigate hotspots of methane emissions during COVID-19.

Meet the Experts: Ocean views from space

29.5.2020 18:00   Video: 00:06:05

Earth observation satellites are guardians of our planet. Thanks to remote sensing technology and daily data collection, researchers are able to better monitor our planet's oceans and rising sea levels from space. ESA senior advisor for Earth Observation programmes Jérôme Beneviste explains how ocean views from space play a role in climate change studies and natural catastrophe predictions.

Call for Media: Rapid action in response to coronavirus with Earth observation

29.5.2020 14:00  

Press Release N° 9–2020

ESA and the European Commission invite media representatives to follow an online event on 5 June at 11:00 CEST where they will present the ‘Rapid Action Coronavirus Earth observation’ dashboard, also known as RACE. The RACE platform provides access to key environmental, economic and social indicators to measure the impact of the coronavirus lockdown and monitor post-lockdown recovery.

Earth from Space: Abu Dhabi

29.5.2020 10:00   Video: 00:02:53

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Abu Dhabi – one of the seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

See also Abu Dhabi to download the image.

Abu Dhabi

29.5.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Abu Dhabi – one of the seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Abu Dhabi – one of the seven emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Ice jam flooding in Fort McMurray

28.5.2020 11:15   This false-colour image captured by Copernicus Sentinel-2 shows the extent of an ice jam on the Athabasca River in Canada - leading to the flooding of Fort McMurray. Image: This false-colour image captured by Copernicus Sentinel-2 shows the extent of an ice jam on the Athabasca River in Canada - leading to the flooding of Fort McMurray.

Calling for ideas for next Earth Explorer

25.5.2020 12:20   Towards Earth Explorer 11

As part of ESA’s continuing commitment to realise cutting-edge satellite missions to advance the scientific understanding of our planet and to show how new technologies can be used in space, a new Call for Earth Explorer mission ideas has been released today.

Earth from Space: Atacama minerals

22.5.2020 10:00   Video: 00:02:46

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Chile's Atacama Desert, considered one of the driest places on Earth.

See also Atacama minerals to download the image.

Snow mass estimates now more reliable

21.5.2020 15:35  

Estimating the amount of seasonal snow is important for understanding the water cycle and Earth’s climate system, but establishing a clear and coherent picture of change has proven difficult. New research from ESA’s Climate Change Initiative has helped to produce the first reliable estimate of snow mass change and has helped to identify different continental trends.

Atacama minerals

21.5.2020 10:15   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Chile's Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Chile's Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth.

Swarm probes weakening of Earth’s magnetic field

20.5.2020 13:10  

In an area stretching from Africa to South America, Earth’s magnetic field is gradually weakening. This strange behaviour has geophysicists puzzled and is causing technical disturbances in satellites orbiting Earth. Scientists are using data from ESA’s Swarm constellation to improve our understanding of this area known as the ‘South Atlantic Anomaly.’

A sustainable future

19.5.2020 11:00   Video: 00:04:00

With the Covid-19 pandemic halting our daily lives and forcing many countries and region into lockdown, the economic effects have been devastating. Closed borders have caused traffic jams and disrupted supply chains. In Europe, for example, the agriculture industry has suffered. Normally the industry relies on migrant labour to harvest crops, but as the lockdown continues, crops remain unpicked – putting farmers and the food supply under pressure. How can the food supply chain more sustainable?

This video includes an interview with Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes.

Czech Republic drought visible from space

18.5.2020 9:30   Soil moisture conditions from 10 April to 10 May 2020

The prolonged period of dry weather in the Czech Republic has resulted in what experts are calling the ‘worst drought in 500 years.’ Scientists are using ESA satellite data to monitor the drought that’s gripped the country.

Czech Republic drought visible from space

18.5.2020 9:30  

The prolonged period of dry weather in the Czech Republic has resulted in what experts are calling the ‘worst drought in 500 years.’ Scientists are using ESA satellite data to monitor the drought that’s gripped the country.

Czech Republic drought visible from space

18.5.2020 9:30   Soil moisture conditions from 10 April to 10 May 2020

The prolonged period of dry weather in the Czech Republic has resulted in what experts are calling the ‘worst drought in 500 years.’ Scientists are using ESA satellite data to monitor the drought that’s gripped the country.

Seen from space: COVID-19 and the environment

15.5.2020 17:12   Video: 00:04:00

As the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives across the globe, Earth-observing satellites take the pulse of our planet from space. While the global lockdown has had a massive impact on daily life and the economy, there have been environmental benefits that are visible from space. How can we preserve these positives when returning to ‘business as usual’?

This video includes an interview in English with Josef Aschbacher, Director of Earth Observation Programmes.

Earth from Space: San Francisco Bay

15.5.2020 10:00   Video: 00:00:00

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over San Francisco Bay in the US state of California. 

See also San Francisco Bay to download the image. 

San Francisco Bay

15.5.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over San Francisco Bay in the US state of California. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over San Francisco Bay in the US state of California.

Magnetic north and the elongating blob

14.5.2020 16:12   Swirling iron

For some years now, scientists have been puzzling over why the north magnetic pole has been making a dash towards Siberia. Thanks, in part, to ESA’s Swarm satellite mission, scientists are now more confident in the theory that tussling magnetic blobs deep below Earth’s surface are at the root of this phenomenon.

Aeolus goes public

12.5.2020 10:00   Wind profile from Aeolus 6 May 2020

Delivering new information about Earth’s winds, ESA’s Aeolus mission has already been hailed a success. Today, this remarkable satellite mission has yet again achieved new heights: its data are now being distributed publicly to forecasting services and scientific users in less than three hours of measurements being made from space.

Northwest Greenland

8.5.2020 10:00   Northwest Greenland is featured in this icy image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission. Image: Northwest Greenland is featured in this icy image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission.

Earth from Space: Northwest Greenland

8.5.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:33

This week's edition of the Earth from Space programme features an icy image of Northwest Greenland captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission.

See also Northwest Greenland to download the image.

ESA–EGU award for Earth observation excellence

6.5.2020 17:30   Earth seen by Meteosat

Like all gatherings during these times of COVID-19 isolation, the European Geosciences Union’s annual General Assembly is different this year with thousands of Earth, planetary and space scientists taking part virtually to discuss their research and latest findings. So, with eyes still very much on science this week, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher announced the launch of a new award for excellence in Earth observation during his online presentation.

ESA–EGU award for Earth observation excellence

6.5.2020 17:30   ESA–EGU award

Like all gatherings during these times of COVID-19 isolation, the European Geosciences Union’s annual General Assembly is different this year with thousands of Earth, planetary and space scientists taking part virtually to discuss their research and latest findings. So, with eyes still very much on science this week, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher announced the launch of a new award for excellence in Earth observation during his online presentation.

Shedding light on the ocean’s living carbon pump

6.5.2020 12:45  

Phytoplankton play a crucial role in ocean biology and climate. Understanding the natural processes that influence phytoplankton primary production, and how they are changing as the planet warms, is vital. A new study, using data from the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative, has produced a 20-year time-series of global primary production in the oceans – shedding new light on the ocean’s living carbon pump.

Building satellites amid COVID-19

4.5.2020 15:40   Working on Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich

During these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 lockdown, trying to work poses huge challenges for us all. For those that can, remote working is now pretty much the norm, but this is obviously not possible for everybody. One might assume that like many industries, the construction and testing of satellites has been put on hold, but engineers and scientists are finding ways of continuing to prepare Europe’s upcoming satellite missions such as the next Copernicus Sentinels.

Mapping methane emissions on a global scale

4.5.2020 14:00  

An important new tool to combat climate change is now available. Using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, this new technology makes it possible to track and attribute methane emissions around the world. 

Earth from Space: Southern Ukraine

1.5.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:01

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, we explore Southern Ukraine with Copernicus Sentinel-2.
See also Southern Ukraine to download the image.

Southern Ukraine

1.5.2020 10:00   Southern Ukraine is featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. Image: Southern Ukraine is featured in this false-colour image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission.

Can rain trigger a volcanic eruption?

30.4.2020 8:15   Kilauea eruption 2018

The notion that rain could lead to a volcanic eruption may seem strange, but scientists from the University of Miami in the USA, have used information from satellites, including the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, to discover that a period of heavy rainfall may have triggered the four month-long eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano in 2018.

Namib Desert

24.4.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Namib Desert in western Namibia. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of the Namib Desert in western Namibia.

Earth from Space: Namib Desert

24.4.2020 10:00   Video: 00:00:00

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, Copernicus Sentinel-2 takes us over part of the Namib Desert, considered the oldest desert on Earth.
 
See also Namib Desert to download the image.

Air pollution drops in India following lockdown

24.4.2020 9:18  

Lockdowns imposed to halt the spread of the coronavirus have been recently linked with cleaner air quality over Europe and China. New images, from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, from the European Union Copernicus programme, now show some cities across India seeing levels drop by around 40—50% owing to its nationwide quarantine.

Air pollution drops in India following lockdown

24.4.2020 9:18  

Lockdowns imposed to halt the spread of the coronavirus have been recently linked with cleaner air quality over Europe and China. New images, from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, from the European Union Copernicus programme, now show some cities across India seeing levels drop by around 40–50% owing to its nationwide quarantine.

Dutch tulip fields come into bloom

23.4.2020 13:45   Captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, these beautiful views from space show the Dutch tulip fields coming into bloom. Image: Captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, these beautiful views from space show the Dutch tulip fields coming into bloom.

Earth Day: taking the pulse of our planet

22.4.2020 9:20  

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. For Earth-observing satellites, every day is Earth Day. While news of COVID-19 dominates headlines and many of us practice social distancing, there still remains the need for action on climate change – and satellites are vital in providing the key facts on this global issue.  

COVID-19: Aeolus and weather forecasts

21.4.2020 16:38   Fewer flights mean fewer atmospheric measurements

We are all too aware that COVID-19 is a serious threat to health, is putting huge pressure on healthcare systems and it could leave the global economy struggling for years to come. With lockdown measures in force across the globe, the pandemic is also affecting aspects of everyday life that may not be so obvious. The drop in commercial flights, for example, has led to fewer measurements for weather forecasts, but fortunately, ESA’s Aeolus satellite mission is helping to fill the gap.

COVID-19: Aeolus and weather forecasts

21.4.2020 16:38   Fewer flights mean fewer atmospheric measurements

We are all too aware that COVID-19 is a serious threat to health, is putting huge pressure on healthcare systems and it could leave the global economy struggling for years to come. With lockdown measures in force across the globe, the pandemic is also affecting aspects of everyday life that may not be so obvious. The drop in commercial flights, for example, has led to fewer measurements for weather forecasts, but fortunately, ESA’s Aeolus satellite mission is helping to fill the gap.

Ending global plant tracking, Proba-V assigned new focus

20.4.2020 12:18   Proba-V global vegetation timelapse

ESA’s cubic-metre-sized Proba-V minisatellite will soon end its nearly seven-year global mission to monitor the daily growth of all Earth’s vegetation. As Copernicus Sentinel-3 takes on this task instead, Proba-V will be free to perform experimental monitoring over Europe and Africa – including co-observations with new companion missions.

Earth from Space: Montevideo

17.4.2020 10:00   Video: 00:02:39

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Montevideo – the capital and largest city of Uruguay.
 
See also Montevideo, Uruguay to download the image.

Montevideo, Uruguay

17.4.2020 10:00   Montevideo, Uruguay Image: Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay

17.4.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Montevideo – the capital and largest city of Uruguay. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Montevideo – the capital and largest city of Uruguay.

Mapping Chernobyl fires from space

16.4.2020 17:00   Burned area near Chernobyl site

With an outbreak of wildfires recently threatening the closed Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, the Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service has been activated and the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite mission has imaged the fires and smoke, and mapped the resulting area of burned ground.

Air pollution remains low as Europeans stay at home

16.4.2020 11:00   NO2 concentrations over Europe

Further analyses are showing the continued low levels of nitrogen dioxide concentrations across Europe – coinciding with lockdown measures implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus. New data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, from the European Union Copernicus programme, show some cities seeing levels fall by 45—50% compared to the same period last year. 

Over 500K downloads for ESA’s SNAP toolbox

16.4.2020 9:54   The right tools for the right job

Reflecting the growing use of Earth observation, a software toolbox that provide users with the tools they need to process satellite data has been downloaded more than 500 000 times in less than five years.

Deserted Venetian lagoon

14.4.2020 17:30   The Venetian lagoon appears almost deserted following Italy's lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease - as seen by Copernicus Sentinel-2 Image: The Venetian lagoon appears almost deserted following Italy's lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease - as seen by Copernicus Sentinel-2

Satellites providing clear picture of greenhouse gases

14.4.2020 16:10  

With increasing levels of greenhouse gases causing our climate to change, it is important to understand exactly where these gases come from and how they disperse in the atmosphere. A new dataset, produced by the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative, provides a detailed view of carbon dioxide and methane – two of the most important human-made gases driving global warming.

Earth from Space: Wheatbelt, Western Australia

10.4.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:23

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, Copernicus Sentinel-2 takes us over an area in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.
 
See also Wheatbelt, Western Australia to download the image.

Wheatbelt, Western Australia

10.4.2020 10:00   This Copernicus Sentinel-2 image features an area in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. Image: This Copernicus Sentinel-2 image features an area in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.

Satellites and machine learning for water management

9.4.2020 17:13   Water management key for sustainable agriculture

Freshwater is vital to life – but a growing global population, economic development and the effects of climate change are putting mounting pressure on this precious finite resource. Globally, agriculture accounts for 70% of all freshwater consumed, so efficient water management is essential. An ESA project that focuses on fusing data from two different Copernicus Sentinel missions is providing estimates of evapotranspiration, which is not only key for sustainable agriculture, but also important for water resource management and for a number of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

CryoSat still cool at 10

8.4.2020 11:00   ESA's ice mission

Today marks 10 years since a Dnepr rocket blasted off from an underground silo in the remote desert steppe of Kazakhstan, launching one of ESA’s most remarkable Earth-observing satellites into orbit. Tucked safely within the rocket fairing, CryoSat had a tough job ahead: to measure variations in the height of Earth’s ice and reveal how climate change is affecting the polar regions. Carrying novel technology, this extraordinary mission has led to a wealth of scientific discoveries that go far beyond its primary objectives to measure polar ice. And, even at 10 years old, this incredible mission continues to surpass expectations.

Unusual ozone hole opens over the Arctic

6.4.2020 9:40  

Scientists using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite have noticed a strong reduction of ozone concentrations over the Arctic. Unusual atmospheric conditions, including freezing temperatures in the stratosphere, have led ozone levels to plummet – causing a ‘mini-hole’ in the ozone layer.

Unusual ozone hole opens over the Arctic

6.4.2020 9:40  

Scientists using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite have noticed a strong reduction of ozone concentrations over the Arctic. Unusual atmospheric conditions, including freezing temperatures in the stratosphere, have led ozone levels to plummet – causing a ‘mini-hole’ in the ozone layer.

Finistère, France

3.4.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Finistère – a French department in the west of Brittany. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Finistère – a French department in the west of Brittany.

Earth from Space: Finistère

3.4.2020 10:00   Video: 00:00:00

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Finistère – a French department in the west of Brittany.
See also Finistère, France to download the image.

COVID-19: how can satellites help?

2.4.2020 14:28   Calling for innovative proposals to characterise impacts of Covid-19

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has virtually paralysed daily life as we know it. Even when the spread of this highly infectious disease has been stemmed, the world will face huge challenges getting back to normal. To help support experts working in Europe’s research centres and technical organisations during these unprecedented times, ESA has issued two new initiatives related to understanding the effects that COVID-19 is imposing on society, the economy and the environment.

COVID-19: how can satellites help?

2.4.2020 14:28   Calling for innovative proposals to characterise impacts of COVID-19

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has virtually paralysed daily life as we know it. Even when the spread of this highly infectious disease has been stemmed, the world will face huge challenges getting back to normal. To help support experts working in Europe’s research centres and technical organisations during these unprecedented times, ESA has issued two new initiatives related to understanding the effects that COVID-19 is imposing on society, the economy and the environment.

Submissions open for Copernicus Masters 2020

1.4.2020 17:00  

Awarding innovative solutions, developments and ideas that use Earth observation data to tackle challenges faced by business and society, the Copernicus Masters 2020 competition is now open for submissions.

Coronavirus lockdown leading to drop in pollution across Europe

27.3.2020 11:00   NO2 concentrations over France

New data, based on observations from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, are showing strong reductions in nitrogen dioxide concentrations over several major cities across Europe – including Paris, Madrid and Rome.

Earth from Space: Rice fields, Vietnam

27.3.2020 10:00   Video: 00:03:05

In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over part of the Mekong Delta – a major rice-producing region in southwest Vietnam.

See also Rice fields, Vietnam to download the image.

Rice fields, Vietnam

27.3.2020 10:00   The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over part of the Mekong Delta – a major rice-producing region in southwest Vietnam. Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over part of the Mekong Delta – a major rice-producing region in southwest Vietnam.

ESA to issue Call for Ideas for next Earth Explorer

23.3.2020 14:34   Towards Earth Explorer 11

As part of the ongoing commitment to realise new satellite missions that advance our understanding of Earth, contribute to climate research, benefit society and demonstrate innovative space technologies, ESA soon expects to release a Call for Ideas for Earth Explorer 11, pending approval from Member States at the Programme Board for Earth Observation. The hope is to issue the Call before the end of May, with a deadline to submit full proposals by the end of October 2020.

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