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Mapping Chernobyl fires from space

16 April 2020

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.

Satellites and machine learning for water management

09 April 2020

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.

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Land-cover maps of Europe from the Cloud

20 March 2020

Mapping land cover is not only essential for monitoring change, but it also underpins numerous practical applications. However, generating these maps entails handling huge amounts of satellite data and some technical expertise. Thanks to the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission and new cloud-computing resources, fully automated land-cover maps in 10 m resolution are on the horizon.

Taal volcano blanketed by ash

23 January 2020

The Philippines' Taal volcano erupted on 12 January 2020 – spewing an ash plume approximately 15 km high and forcing large-scale evacuations in the nearby area.

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Flooding in southern Iran

16 January 2020

Heavy rainfall has triggered flooding in southern Iran, particularly in the Sistan and Baluchestan, Hormozgan and Kerman provinces. The downpour has led to blocked roads and destroyed bridges, crops and houses – displacing thousands of people.

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Australia: like a furnace

09 January 2020

Ferocious bushfires have been sweeping across Australia since September, fuelled by record-breaking temperatures, drought and wind.

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Greenland ice loss much faster than expected

10 December 2019

The Greenland ice sheet is losing mass seven times faster than in the 1990s, according to new research.

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Smoke in New South Wales

21 November 2019

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission captured the plumes of smoke from the bushfires in Australia. The recent blazes triggered a ‘hazardous' air quality warning for Sydney – the highest level on Australia's Air Quality Index.

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Emerging cracks in the Pine Island Glacier

18 October 2019

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellites have revealed new cracks, or rifts, in the Pine Island Glacier – one of the primary ice arteries in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The two large rifts were first spotted in early 2019 and have each rapidly grown to approximately 20 km in length.

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Australian bushfires

10 September 2019

Australia is tackling multiple bushfires that have broken out across New South Wales and Queensland over the past few days. In this image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission on 8 September, fires burning in the Yuraygir National Park and Shark Creek area are visible.

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Raft of rubble

27 August 2019

Captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission on 21 August 2019, this image features a huge raft of pumice rock drifting in the Pacific Ocean. The pumice is believed to have come from an underwater volcano near Tonga, which erupted on 7 August.

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Gran Canaria wildfire

21 August 2019

An unprecedented wildfire has ripped through the island of Gran Canaria, one of Spain's Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa. The wildfire, which started on Saturday 17 August, has now started to subside after engulfing around 10 000 hectares of land, leading to the evacuation of over 9000 people.

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Washed up: Sargassum blankets beaches

30 July 2019

Over the last month, massive quantities of the Sargassum seaweed have been washing up on the shores of Mexico, Florida in the US and some Caribbean islands, creating a serious environmental problem and causing havoc for the tourist industry. ESA has been tracking this slimy infestation.

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Apollo 11 launch pad

16 July 2019

Celebrating 50 years since Apollo 11 blasted off with the first humans that would walk on the Moon, Copernicus Sentinel-2 captures the historic launch site at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, US.

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Rare lava lake

04 July 2019

Mount Michael is an active stratovolcano on the remote Saunders Island, one of the South Sandwich Islands in the southern Atlantic Ocean. In situ observations of the volcano prove difficult owing to its remote location and the fact that it is almost 1000 m high and difficult to climb. However, modern satellite imagery can help survey isolated locations such as these.

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German wildfire

02 July 2019

On 30 June, a wildfire broke out at a military training site in Lübtheen, in northern Germany. Emergency services had difficulties containing the site, owing to unexploded munitions from military activities going back as far as World War II. 

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Fire red lines

27 June 2019

One of the largest wildfires recorded in Arizona, US, has been burning since 8 June, destroying vast swathes of vegetation across the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix.

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Desert Greenery

17 June 2019

Today marks the 25th anniversary of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (WDCD). Under its theme ‘Let's grow the future together,' the initiative celebrates the 25 years of progress made in sustainable land management.

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Unexpected snow in Australia

05 June 2019

June marks the start of winter in Australia, but this year strong winds and bitter temperatures have hit the east coast, bringing unexpected snowfall. This image, captured on 4 June by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, shows the unusual layer of snow over the Southern Tablelands, southwest of Sydney.

Applications open for 9th Advanced Training Course on Land Remote Sensing

22 May 2019

The European Space Agency (ESA) is organising an Advanced Training Course on Land Remote Sensing, which will focus on agriculture. The course will be held at Louvain-la-Neuve, in Belgium, from 16 to 20 September 2019.

Applications are open until 30 June.

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