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Space images and content relevant to New Zealand and our burgeoning space industry.

21 September 2020 | Xerra Earth observation images

These dramatic images are landscapes of our own Aotearoa New Zealand from space in beautiful clarity, provided by Xerra Earth Observation.

Images like these – not just in the visible spectrum but also in ultraviolet, infrared, and other wavelengths of light – help scientists study changes to the land and life on it, helping everyone to take more informed actions every day.

Satelite image of the Rakaia river and the Canterbury Bight

Scientists can use satellite images (like this one from San Francisco-based company Planet’s cubesat) to monitor how much sediment is flowing from the Rakaia river into the Canterbury Bight, providing insight into rainfall, flooding and land-use practices in the catchment area.

Photo credit: @Xerra_EO

Satellite image of Mount Taranaki showing the boundary of Egmont National Park.

In this true-colour image of Mount Taranaki, we can see clearly the sharp boundary of Egmont National Park. The original high-resolution image, obtained with one of the French SPOT satellites, can help scientists to monitor vegetation changes.

Photo credit: @Xerra_EO

False-colour satellite image of Mount Taranaki.

A false-colour mix covering Mount Taranaki made using imagery obtained by the US Geological Survey's Landsat-8 satellite. This mix employs some near-infrared data, resulting in the grass looking unnaturally green while the snow on the peak appears turquoise.

Photo credit: @Xerra_EO

Satellite image of Lake Tekapo

In this enhanced, false-colour image of Lake Tekapo from Airbus satellites, the high reflectivity of plants in near-infrared (outside the visible spectrum) shows up as red. The light blue area shows sediments flowing into the lake before sinking.

Photo credit: @Xerra_EO

auckland xerra planet

This true-colour image of Auckland comes from one of over 200 cubesats operated by the San Francisco-based company Planet. Each satellite is about 30 cm long, and they map the surface of the Earth daily.

Photo credit: @Xerra_EO

24 July 2019 | Pilot tool to track satellites launched from New Zealand

Watch a visualisation of the Space Regulatory and Sustainability Platform pilot in action. This tool has been designed by LeoLabs for MBIE’s New Zealand Space Agency, allowing the agency to see real-time information on the orbital position of satellites launched from New Zealand.

5 May 2019 | Rocket Lab’s first night launch
stp 27rd launch

Photo credit: Canaan Akuhata-Brown | Cinema East

A local photographer, Canaan Akuhata-Brown of Cinema East, captured the shot of a lifetime with this stunning photo of Rocket Lab’s first night launch. This was their sixth mission from Launch Complex 1 at Māhia, Gisborne.

Last updated: 21 September 2020