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Earth observation

Earth Observation (EO) satellites circle the Earth carrying instruments looking down on our oceans, land, atmosphere, and ice caps alike.

Image of the Great Barrier Reef taken by Envisat. Credit: ESA 
Image of the Great Barrier Reef taken by Envisat
Credit: ESA

Different instruments measure different things. For instance, some are able to look through clouds to take the temperature of the seas, building up a global picture of  sea surface temperature. Others send signals which bounce back from different depths of cloud providing information on the cloud’s chemical composition.

Often these observations are complemented by measurements taken from the ground or from aircraft to build up a full description of our planet. This wealth of data is proving invaluable to scientists studying our environment, testing current theories and improving predictions of global change. This information is proving useful too for the future management of our environment.

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The UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.

The UK's thriving space sector contributes £9.1 billion a year to the UK economy and directly employs 28,900 with an average growth rate of almost 7.5%. (The Size and Health of the UK Space Sector 2010/11, preliminary survey results.)

View a list of organisations that we work with.

UK space sector videos

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UK Space Agency on Twitter

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