Exploring Earth: Temperature Mapping

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    Exploring Earth: Temperature Mapping
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    Exploring Earth: Temperature Mapping

This activity models the way Landsat satellites use a thermal infrared sensor to measure land surface temperatures. IR technology, like the IR thermometer in this activity, uses the infrared light emitted by an object to measure its temperature remotely (without having to touch it!) By taking a series of measurements over an area, a scientist can create a visual representation of the surface temperatures (like a weather map for surface temperatures rather than air temperatures.)



Big Idea

Earth is a constantly changing and dynamic system.

Learning Goals
  • Different types of land cover on Earth absorb or reflect energy from the Sun in different ways. 
  • NASA scientists study land cover to understand and predict how Earth's climate is changing.


Year created

This material is based on work supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award numbers NNX16AC67A and 80NSSC18M0061. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Owning institution

Arizona State University


Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US).
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Development Process

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