Every 98 minutes the satellite zips around the world. It's 438 miles above
the Earth and traveling 17,000 miles per hour. On board is one of the
world's most powerful cameras. Any day, between now and mid-March, the
camera will take a snapshot of Mexico's monarch butterfly Reserve. The
image will be so detailed it may even show the monarch colonies.
to Look at Monarch Habitat
Last week, we saw how scientists measure the monarch colonies in Mexico.
This week's news is about a way scientists are preparing to study the
monarch's habitat. The goal in each case, whether measuring monarch
colonies or looking at monarch habitat, is to learn if monarchs are getting
the protection they need.
for Changes in the Forest
Monarchs need a healthy forest to survive the winter in Mexico. Scientists
are concerned about deforestation (the clearing of a forest by people).
will have an all-time, historical archive of the current state of the
monarch butterfly Reserve. We will be able to use these images to monitor
the state of the Reserve through time," explained Dr. Lincoln Brower.
Making This Possible? (Students!)
over 500 classrooms
sent nearly $10,000 to support monarch butterfly conservation in Mexico.
These funds will be used to purchase the satellite image. We selected
this project because the images will have permanent value for science
and conservation. Students will always
know that these 2009 images were made possible through their own generosity.
For a Clear Sky
The camera needs a cloudless sky to take the image. That's why
it's scheduled now, during the last month of Mexico's dry season, when
there is little moisture in the air to form clouds. While we wait, you
can check the sky above the monarch sanctuary region on this satellite
Do you see any clouds above the monarch sanctuaries
right now? >>
University of Wisconsin
GEOEye satellite is carrying the camera.
It can take a detailed image while 438 miles above the Earth and moving
17,000 miles per hour. (More...)
Dr. Lincoln Brower ordered the
his colleague at NASA,
Dan Slayback. (More...)
Photo by Don Davis
Section of the Monarch Butterfly Reserve in Mexico
The area outlined in blue will be included in the satellite image. More...