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Question:

What band combination is used for Landsat browse images?

Answer:

Landsat browse images are displayed as false color composites using the following top of atmosphere reflectance band combinations:

Landsat 8 Operational Land Image (OLI)

Landsat 8 OLI browse images are created using top of atmosphere reflectance bands 6, 5, and 4. The pixels are resampled from the original 30-meter data to 180 meters.


Figure 1. Landsat 8 Path 13 Row 32, acquired September 9, 2017.

Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and Landsat 4-5 Thematic Mapper

Landsat 7 ETM+ and Landsat 4-5 TM browse images are created using top of atmosphere reflectance bands 5, 4, and 3. A 2-percent linear stretch is applied, and the pixels are resampled from the original 30-meter data to 180 meters.


Figure 2. Landsat 7 Path 12 Row 28, acquired September 26, 2017.

Landsat 4-5 Multispectral Scanner (MSS)

Landsat 4-5 MSS browse images are created using top of atmosphere reflectance bands 4, 2, and 1, with a 2-percent linear stretch applied.


Figure 3. Landsat 5 MSS Path 40 Row 25, acquired September 20, 1987.

Landsat 1-3 Multispectral Scanner (MSS)

Landsat 1-3 MSS browse images are created using top of atmosphere reflectance bands 7, 5, and 4, with a 2-percent linear stretch applied.


Figure 4. Landsat 2 MSS Path 12, acquired September 20, 1977.