Landsat image of the Manicougan Lake, Quebec, Canada, 1974.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
This circular feature is thought to be an old crater formed by the impact of a large meteorite around 214 million years ago. Measuring about 70 kilometres acros, it is an annular lake with a round central island. Five Landsats were launched between 1972 and 1984 to study the Earth in various spectral bands from the visible to the infrared with a resolution of about 30 metres. The Landsat programme is an ongoing one. Landsat 7, launched in 1999 is able to view the Earth's surface at a resolution of 15 metres, and the next satellite, Landsat 8, is scheduled to be launched into orbit in 2005. The satellites are used to provide information for map making, studies of land use, pollution monitoring and mineral prospecting.