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What are the orbit paths of the Landsat satellites?

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What are the orbit paths of the Landsat satellites?


The Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 satellites both maintain a near-polar, sun-synchronous orbit, following the World Reference System (WRS-2). They each make an orbit in about 99 minutes, complete over 14 orbits per day, and provide complete coverage of the Earth every 16 days. There is an 8-day offset between the two satellites.

The satellites traveling on the descending (daytime) node from north to south cross the equator at 10:00 a.m. +/- 15 minutes (Landsat 7) and 10:11 a.m. +/- 15 minutes (Landsat 8) mean local time on each pass to provide maximum illumination with minimum water vapor (haze and cloud build-up).

Visit the Landsat 7 Data Users Handbook and the Landsat 8 Science Data Users Handbook for more information on the orbits of the satellites.


Landsat represents the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based moderate-resolution land remote sensing data. Four decades of imagery provides a unique resource for those who work in agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping, and global change research. Landsat images are also invaluable for emergency response and disaster relief.


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Landsat Updates

The Landsat Update is an informal communication tool, prepared periodically and distributed electronically to USGS Landsat partners, to provide information about Landsat activities and related topics of interest.

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