Why Space Matters: A Picture of A Deadly Mudslide

Pictures have been all over the news about the killer mudslide in Washington state.  It’s tragic and sad to see and know people died from the mudslide, and it seems like it’s still nothing but bad news accompanying the pictures.

NASA’s Landsat 8, a Low Earth Orbiting satellite, provided an image of the mudslide, which is pictured on Live Science’s website and post.  In the post, they compare a picture taken by the NASA Earth Observatory satellites earlier in the year to the one Landsat 8 provided.  The differences are probably what one would expect, but the scale of the mudslide is impressive.  The image might be helpful to geologists (?) trying to figure out where the next problem might be before people start building around there again.

As for satellites helping to pinpoint people who were stuck in the slides, well, what you see in those images are as good as it gets for those particular satellites.  So nothing can really be seen.  There may be other satellites, like DigitalGlobe’s ,that are more capable, but chances are still unlikely for their satellites images to be helpful.

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