The art of remote sensing: Van Gogh in Space via Landsat

This image is making the rounds on social media, and it is a beaut. The Landsat program calls this one "Van Gogh from Space" - It was imaged July 13th, 2005. 

In the style of Van Gogh's painting "Starry Night," massive congregations of greenish phytoplankton swirl in the dark water around Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea.In a recent paper by Michael Wulder and others discuss the tremendous benefits of the Landsat program on numerous scientific disciplines, and the overwhelming benefits to science of open access to the Landsat archive.

"Landsat occupies a unique position in the constellation of civilian earth observation satellites, with a long and rich scientific and applications heritage. With nearly 40 years of continuous observation – since launch of the first satellite in 1972 – the Landsat program has benefited from insightful technical specification, robust engineering, and the necessary infrastructure for data archive and dissemination. Chiefly, the spatial and spectral resolutions have proven of broad utility and have remained largely stable over the life of the program. The foresighted acquisition and maintenance of a global image archive has proven to be of unmatched value, providing a window into the past and fueling the monitoring and modeling of global land cover and ecological change."

Reference: Wulder, M.A.; Masek, J.G.; Cohen, W.B.; Loveland, T.R.; Woodcock, C.E. Opening the archive: How free data has enabled the science and monitoring promise of Landsat. Remote Sensing of Environment 2012,122, 2-10