In honor of Landsat 5’s 28th birthday today (March 1st) here’s how the desert city of Las Vegas has gone through a massive growth spurt. The outward expansion of the city is shown in a false-color time lapse of data from all the Landsat satellites.
The large red areas are actually green space, mostly golf courses and city parks. You’ll notice the images become a lot sharper around 1984, that’s when new instrument designs greatly increased their sensitivity.
These Las Vegas images were created using reflected light from the near-infrared, red and green portions of the electromagnetic spectrum (Landsat 5 TM bands 4,3,2 and Landsat 1-3 MSS bands 4,2,1).