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Remote Sensing Satellites

Satellites have provided an important viewing platform for many of Earth's complex environmental processes. The first satellite to take photos of the Earth was launched in 1960, but scientists began to systematically monitor our planet's land resources in 1972. Satellite sensors continue to provide us with a wealth of information about natural processes in the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere and cryosphere. As our data record grows and improves, we can see and measure a greater number environmental processes, their interconnected behaviors, and how they change over time.

Today, a growing amount of satellite data is available for free over the Internet. With a basic understanding of a few key concepts and access to software tools, we may use the data to deepen our perception of the world in which we live.

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