First student-built satellite to launch on Thursday

The SSETI Express, a satellite designed and built by 100 students from 10 universities in Europe will launch from Russia on Thursday. The satellite is equipped with a camera that will take images of the Earth. Although the satellite is mainly a demonstration, the European Space Agency, which funded the project, sees this launch as the first step for the Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative (SSETI) which will train European students in space science and remote sensing.

Another satellite that is launching with the SSETI Express is China’s Beijing-1 microsatellite, which is carrying the China Mapping Telescope. Its mission is to provide high-resolution imagery for mapping Chinese territory.

Via BBCNews

Mapping the Universe

If you think it’s ambitious to map the entire earth, check out the Sloan Digital Sky Survey According to their website: “the Sloan Digital Sky Survey is the most ambitious astronomical survey project ever undertaken. The survey will map in detail one-quarter of the entire sky, determining the positions and absolute brightnesses of more than 100 million celestial objects. It will also measure the distances to more than a million galaxies and quasars.”

They have already made quite a lot of progress, and their SkyServer offers all kinds of images and other data, and other cool tools for just exploring their data or for school and research projects

PixelSense 742

We here at VerySpatial have received our first honest to goodness press release! What is more, its for an actually useful product. Pixel742 generates distributable GeoTIFFs from Landsat bands 7, 4, & 2 to create a Natural color output. There is a demo but I haven’t plyed with it yet.

PixelSense 742

Satellite imagery shows Arctic ice melt

Whatever your beliefs on the global warming issue, the recent spate of articles on the melting of Arctic ice and the warming of the climate in Alaska seem pretty scary. Satellite imagery is being used to show that the Arctic ice cap is shrinking at an alarming rate.

You can check out the article here

Here is another at the London Times Online

Day and Night around the World

If you simply must know where it is day and night around the world, here are a couple of websites for you. keeps the official U.S. time via atomic clock and has a feature which shows where the sun is shining and where it is dark when you click on a time zone. Check it out here

The second website, by John Walker (founder of AutoDesk), offers the Earth and Moon Viewer, which has the day and night feature, as well as views of the earth from the moon, and the day and night sides using satellite imagery. It is much more of a webmapping interface, with query boxes to change the view and type of imagery.

Check out the Earth and Moon Viewer here