ESA’s Proba-V minisatellite reveals the seasonal changes in Africa’s sub-Saharan Sahel, with the rainy season allowing vegetation to blossom between February (top) and September (bottom).
The semi-arid Sahel stretches more than 5000 km across Africa, from the Atlantic Ocean (Senegal, Mauritania) to the Red Sea (Sudan). The few months of the rainy season in the Sahel are much needed in these hot and sunny parts of Africa, and are critical for the food security and livelihood of their inhabitants.
The name Sahel can be translated from Arabic as coast or shore, considered as the ever-shifting landward ‘coastline’ of the arid Sahara Desert.
Smaller than a cubic metre, Proba-V nevertheless images the entire land surface of Earth every two days or less, allowing researchers around the globe to trace gradual shifts in vegetation.
Launched on 7 May 2013, Proba-V is a miniaturised ESA satellite tasked with a full-scale mission: to map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire planet every two days.
Its main camera’s continent-spanning 2250 km swath width collects light in the blue, red, near-infrared and mid-infrared wavebands at 300 m resolution and down to 100 m resolution in its central field of view.
VITO Remote Sensing in Belgium processes and then distributes Proba-V data to users worldwide. An online image gallery highlights some of the mission’s most striking images so far, including views of storms, fires and deforestation.
Robert Picardo hosts the latest Planetary Post report from the Planetary Society: Starshade & Eclipses – The Planetary Post with Robert Picardo
The Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st is coming up! We’re getting ready with the U.S. National Parks Service and a new Junior Ranger Eclipse Explorer activity book. Also, Starshade is new technology being studied by a team at JPL/NASA and Picardo has the inside scoop.
“The Secret Number” by Colin Levy – “A psychiatrist is compelled by his patient, an institutionalized mathematician, to consider the existence of a secret integer between three and four. Doctor Simon Tomlin, a psychiatrist in a mental hospital, has a disturbing conversation with one of his patients– a brilliant mathematician named Ersheim, who intends to prove the existence of a secret integer between three and four. Tomlin is compelled to dig deeper, but he only uncovers more questions. When Ersheim mysteriously disappears from the hospital, Tomlin realizes that their fates are deeply entwined.”
“Rocketman” by Nicholas Colla – “Harry, a troubled young boy with a vivid imagination wants to fight the forces of evil like his television hero, the Star Ship Captain. When he meets the athletic but slightly awkward Jordan, the two boys set a plan in motion to defeat the forces of evil and save the day. Set in Melbourne in the late 1970‘s, this is the story of a suburban Space Captain, his Lieutenant, the Rocket they built and the heroes they become.”
“97%” by Ben Brand – “Via an app on his phone, Bert discovers that a 97% love match is near. Will he find her before the subway reaches the end of the line?”
“The Space Between Us VFX Short Film” by The Space Between Us Team – “1983: an atomic war has polluted the air and raised the sea level to such a height that it reaches the mountaintops. Mankind tries to survive with the help of oxygen masks; breathing from tanks on their backs. High up in the mountains they have built a research centre in search of gills suited for mankind, so they can breathe freely once again and start a new life under water. However, they soon found out that they needed a gill different from the species known to man. They had to find the most human-like creature of the sea: a merman, which they called, a sea ape. The Scientific theories about these sea-apes were not much different from the fantasies or the fairytales about the mermen. In the end, it was accepted that this sort of beast could never be found. So the research continued, without any directions, without any real hope. They just kept “researching”, cutting into every species they could find. Trying to make it work while knowing its impossibility. But then, one day, when all hope seemed to be lost, the ‘Adam’ is brought inside: the savior of mankind.”