Tag Archives: geography matters

Our Changing Landscape – Rise Shine Runs Aground

Posted on January 4th, 2022

Click on the image above to see an animation of 3-meter natural color PlanetScope imagery collected over Nakhodka, Russia on November 2, 11, 19 and 25, 2021. In the images collected after November 2nd, you can see that Rise Shine has run aground in Vostok Bay just off the coast of Nakhodka as is expected from the media reports. However, you cannot determine if cargo has been lost or if the ship was damaged. What is interesting is that the November 2nd image shows a few lighter features right where Rise Shine ran aground and typically lighter colors close to the shore suggests shallower grounds below the water surface – which makes sense given what happened to this ship. (Images Courtesy: © Planet 2022) In this monthly feature, we span the globe to examine Our Changing Landscape with a time series of medium-resolution PlanetScope satellite imagery. The PlanetScope constellation dates back to 2016 and collects hundreds of millions of square kilometers of 4, 5 and 8-band 3-meter imagery daily! For the last edition of 2021 we checked out flooding in China, and for this first 2022 edition of Our Changing Landscape we stay in Asia with a look at the … testContinue reading

Apollo News Snippets – January 2022

Posted on January 4th, 2022

We always lead off with our favorite snippet of the month, that being technological advances, so here we go! A new catalyst converts carbon dioxide into a liquid fuel. A fully-recycled battery. Alcohol-based fuel cells are one step closer to commercialization. Improved process for converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuels. Rapidly charging batteries has negative consequences. Batteries from abundantly available sodium and sulfur closer to a reality. And here is another advance in sodium-based batteries. Perpetual motion robots could innovate pharmaceutical delivery in the human body. New catalyst shows promise for the commercialization of hydrogen gas. Diamonds might be hydrogen gas’ best friend too. The NOAA extreme weather events map for November 2021 shows that Africa had its warmest November on record while Australia had it’s wettest November on record. The Artic Sea ice extent was at its 9th smallest for November with the Antarctic ice extent at its 2nd smallest. Yep, you guessed right if you guessed November was hot – in fact we have been hot for 443 consecutive months as the most recent NOAA global climate report shows. How hot was it? Well, it was the 4th hottest November at some 1.64°F (0.91°C) above the 20th Century … testContinue reading

The Soft Core of the Earth – Bar People

Posted on January 4th, 2022

Before I ever entered a bar, I was a “bar person.” Growing up in a college town in the Midwest, bars were everywhere. There were those for the students and those for the townies, and on occasion those two groups mixed, but the point is that there was an abundance of them to appeal to the diverse drinkers’ desires. The heart of the Midwest, where’s it flat with no natural beauty – unless you consider corn and soy pretty – means that there isn’t much to do for fun besides drink. So, we get good at it there in flyover country. My older brother used to give me shirts from the local college bars, and I would proudly wear them to high school, even though I’d only set foot inside one of them once and was never anywhere near a drop of alcohol. In many ways, I was being raised to drink (not by my parents, mind you – quite the opposite with them), though it took a few for me to settle into the groove. As many kids do, there were scattered opportunities to drink in high school, and I took advantage of them, kind of. Mostly I pretended … testContinue reading

Apollo News Snippets – December 2021

Posted on December 7th, 2021

It’s time again for my favorite part of the News Snippets, that being technology advances in the past month! Droplets of liquids can move across surfaces without outside forces applied. New catalyst both breaks down water and recombines hydrogen and oxygen to generate power. From wastewater to hydrogen fuel with a single atom catalyst. Bee hives and solar cells combine to improve agriculture. New technique to improve algae power generation. New way to harvest wave and tidal energy in oceans and lakes. Nature improves this solid-battery design. New material developed for improved computer memory. This idea creates on-demand fuel from sunlight and air. Stride forward for solid-state battery production. Ammonia could replace carbon-based fuels in the future. The NOAA extreme weather events map for October 2021 shows that North America had its second warmest October on record while Europe had its coolest since 2016. The Arctic Sea ice extent was the 8th smallest for October while the Antarctic Sea ice extent was the 4th smallest on record. As you might have expected, the October 2021 NOAA Climate Report is out and it shows the global warming trend is continuing. In fact, the October 2021 temperatures were some 1.60°F (0.89°C) above … testContinue reading

The Soft Core of the Earth – The Culture Wars

Posted on December 7th, 2021

I remember how put off everybody was when Trump got elected in 2016. I was somewhat new-ish to town and was out with a colleague at a bar getting to know one another on election night. If you recall, nobody gave him a chance to win, but we still watched the ticker at the bar, downing beer after beer. I left the bar quite inebriated about 930pm, if I recall correctly, and when I got home, I took out the dog and then turned on the TV to see where things stood. By that point, things weren’t looking good if you were pulling for Team Blue, and I remember seeing either Pennsylvania or North Carolina go Red – against the prognostications of “the experts” – and I shut off the boob tube, accepting defeat. The next morning, I woke up in a fog and stupor and stumbled out for the morning walk. I recall seeing a woman standing at the end of her driveway looking at a newspaper, faintly crying. I usually would avoid these situations, but something inside me decided I should ask if she was alright. I said, “Are you okay?” To which she responded, “No, none of … testContinue reading

Our Changing Landscape – Flooding in Shanxi Province

Posted on December 7th, 2021

In this monthly feature, we span the globe to examine Our Changing Landscape with a time series of medium-resolution PlanetScope satellite imagery. The PlanetScope constellation dates back to 2016 and collects hundreds of millions of square kilometers of 4, 5 and 8-band 3-meter imagery daily! Last month we checked out the destruction caused by one of the USA’s most powerful recorded hurricanes, and for this December edition of Our Changing Landscape we travel to Asia with a look at massive flooding in China’s Shanxi province. The PlanetScope Microsat Constellation PlanetScope is a constellation of more than 150 microsats referred to individually as Doves. Each Dove is able to collect up to 20,000 square kilometers (sq km) per day of 3-meter (m) 4-band multispectral (i.e. blue, green, red and near-infrared [NIR]) imagery; and newly launched SuperDoves collect 8-band multispectral adding in valuable red-edge spectral data. Across the constellation, PlanetScope is archiving more than 200 million sq km of medium-resolution imagery a day, making it the go to source for daily imagery over most locations. This massive archive dates back to 2016, offering the most complete and continuous record of spatial data on the planet since the start of the constellation’s ongoing … testContinue reading

Apollo News Snippets – November 2021

Posted on November 2nd, 2021

It’s time again for our latest review of technological advances in the world of sustainable development, so here we go! Microbial fuel cells are improved with the addition of metallic ions. Self-healing, water-resistant coatings developed. New research proves liquids can be ‘steered’ on surfaces. From nuclear waste to biofuel additive. Silicon solid-state batteries closer to reality. Low-cost method to remove lead from water developed. New method to keep solar panels working properly. This research uses CO2 to produce starch. Research sheds light on pathway to improved organic solar cells. New method to upcycle used plastics. The NOAA extreme weather events map for September 2021 shows that South America had its warmest September on record, while it was the coolest September in Europe since 2013 and in Oceania since 2018 – that said, both regions still had above average temperatures in the month. The September 2021 NOAA global climate report is out and, well, as you might expect, we saw temperatures far above the 20th Century average. Temperatures in the month were some 1.62°F (0.90°C) above the 20th Century average making it the fifth warmest September on record, behind 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2020. Record warmth was noted over 6.43% of … testContinue reading

Our Changing Landscape – Hurricane Ida’s Landfall

Posted on November 2nd, 2021

In this monthly feature, we span the globe to examine Our Changing Landscape with a time series of medium-resolution PlanetScope satellite imagery. The PlanetScope constellation dates back to 2016 and collects hundreds of millions of square kilometers of 4, 5 and 8-band 3-meter imagery daily! In October we checked out a massive wildfire in California, and for this edition of Our Changing Landscape we look at another disaster, this one over the southeast of the United States, Hurricane Ida. The PlanetScope Microsat Constellation Click on the image above to see an animation of 3-meter natural color PlanetScope imagery collected over Port Fourchon, Louisiana, USA on August 21 and September 11, 2021. When you check out these images, one pre-Hurricane Ida landfall and the other post-landfall, you see two distinct stories. First, in the areas with vegetation and shoreline, it is impossible to determine the extent of damage caused by Ida – this is perhaps due to a lack of significant damage, which seems unlikely. More likely is that the vegetated areas are significantly darker than the areas with human development making it hard to see into the darker regions when the image is properly balanced for the developed areas. The … testContinue reading

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