If you live in or are from the US, you probably know that today is Super Bowl Sunday. Whatever you happen to be doing, be it tailgating in Indianapolis, getting together with friends and family (and plenty of hot wings and nachos) in your living room or just waiting for all the fuss to be over, remember that, high above, NASA Earth-observing satellites are working hard doing what they do best: observing the Earth. Chances are they’ve imaged your home town many times.
Whichever team you’re rooting for, here’s a little bit of space science fun: the folks over at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, have shared some Landsat images of the home cities of this year’s big game.
The image above shows the central and northern RI and southeastern Massachusetts area, with Providence and Pawtucket seen as the densely-built central region and Foxborough, MA, where the Patriots’ home stadium is located, is just to the north of the image. This image was acquired by Landsat 7 in July 2002.
(Being of my home state, I admit I’m partial to that particular shot. I was down there somewhere!)
If you’re a die-hard Giants fan, you may recognize this area… you may even be in it! It’s a Landsat 7 image of the New York metro area acquired on August 8, 2002. Manhattan is in the center, most easily recognizable from space by the green rectangle of Central Park. New Jersey is on the left side, and Brooklyn on the center-right with Long Island stretching away to the east.
If you’re lucky enough to have tickets to the big game, you may be here: it’s a Landsat image of Indianapolis, IN acquired on July 11, 2001. The Colts may not have made it this year but right now the city is definitely “ready for some football!”
Of course, team and town loyalty aside, this gorgeous image from Expedition 30 crew members aboard the ISS shows everyone all in one place on the night of January 29, 2012 – with a nice touch of northern lights thrown in for good measure:
Bright lights, big cities… but a small world, when you think about it. And remember, whichever team comes out on top today, tomorrow we’re all winners. (Until next season, of course!)
You can see these and more images from Goddard Space Flight Center on their Flickr album, and find out more about Landsat and how it benefits people around the world.
And you can follow Super Bowl XLVI news – and watch online – on the official NFL site here.