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The Island Named After a SatelliteIt is so small that you cannot see it…

The Island Named After a SatelliteIt is so small that you cannot see it…

The Island Named After a Satellite

It is so small that you cannot see it on Google maps. It measures 25 by 45 meters (27 by 49 yards), about half the size of a football field. This barren bit of rock off the coast of Canada also has an unusual namesake: the Landsat 1 satellite. The small size is actually what made the island notable in 1973, when it was initially discovered. Well, that, and the polar bear trying to eat one of the surveyors.

Betty Fleming, a researcher with the Topographic Survey of Canada, was hunting for uncharted islands and rocks amidst data from the new Landsat 1 satellite. She was particularly interested in the new satellite’s ability to find small features. Working with the Canadian Hydrographic Service, Fleming scanned images of the Labrador coast, an area that was poorly charted. About 20 kilometers (12 miles) offshore, the satellite detected a tiny, rocky island. Surveyors were sent to verify the existence of the island and encountered a hungry polar bear on the island. The surveyor quickly retreated. Eventually, the island became known as “Landsat Island,” after the satellite that discovered it. Watch the video to learn more about Betty Fleming and how Landsat Island was discovered by satellite and ground surveyors.

For more details about Landsat Island, read the full stories here:

The Island Named After a Satellite

The Unsung Woman Who Discovered an Unknown Island

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