What Environmental Changes Can We See with Satellites?
ES0707  Las Vegas from Space

Every day, satellites take pictures of Earth's surface. Images from space provide remarkable views of our home planet. These images are also important tools for researchers studying Earth's systems. From tracking the path of a hurricane to analyzing the health of a field of crops, satellites monitor both global and local change.

One type of change that can be observed in satellite images is the growth of urban areas. Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. The animation below shows a series of satellite images that reveal the extent of urban development in the Las Vegas area in 1964, 1972, 1986, and 1992.

  !   Click the image to see the animation. Step through the images frame by frame to observe the changes occurring over time.

The Las Vegas metropolitan area as imaged by Corona and Landsat satellites. Click here to see all four images at once.

1. As you explore the images, write at least three questions that come to mind about the growth of Las Vegas.

 Step:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8