Kvarken Space Conversations

Kvarken Space Conversations  is a series of informative images taken from space alongside short articles. These images will be published once a month in Mega magazine on the Finnish side of the Kvarken. Longer versions of the articles can be found here in Finnish, Swedish and in English. Below, you will find links to these articles.

In addition here in the web, each image will be accompanied by informative and educating article suitable for all ages.

General useful resources:

ESA's Newcomers Earth Observation Guide

Educational Modules - Create your own version of the images!

Below, you can find detailed recreation instructions for all of the published images! We'd be thrilled to see your versions and will publish the best ones!  Please, take a look in to the tutorials provided and send your versions to kvarkenspacecenter@univaasa.fi.

  1. Educational Module 1 to recreate "False Colors of Spring"
  2. Educational Module 2 to recreate "Wavelengths Tell Many Stories"
  3. Educational Module 3 to recreate "Springtime Vegetation Blooms"
  4. Recration of "Nightlights" with the tool. Tool link and instructions of use.

Please find all the published conversations below, latest first.


Kvarken Space Conversations #4 "Nighttime Lights"

Featured Image for Nighttime Lights

Conversation Articles

For more interesting things about nighttime lights, their uses and an introduction (and a guide) to our tool that you can use globally for nighttime lights and nighttime lights change exploration below. They are written by us and available in three languages:

In English: Nighttime Lights

Suomeksi: Yövalot

På Svenska: Nattljus

Additional information and links in English:

Additional interesting information about Nighttime lights and satellite instrument, VIIRS, that we used in this Conversation.

Tutorial: Turning on the Lights – An Introduction to VIIRS Nighttime Imagery

Joshua Stevens has collected compact introduction on how to use nighttime lights imagery with VIIRS instrument. To follow the instructions you will need a free NASA Earthdata account. Also it requires GDAL and some basic familiarity with the command line.

Nighttime Lights – How are they useful?

This article has good argument on nighttime lights application for different activities. The complexity of world makes it difficult to measure and trace activities, but satellite imagery can be seen as a tool.

Night Light Data: An Innovative Way to Track Development

Satellite images can also be used for determining socioeconomic indicators, e.g. to track development to complement accounting systems.

Earth Observatory: Observing Changes in Nighttime Lights

This article focus on the VIIRS instrument and its application. This article might interest you to understand the use of the data, which is provided by satellites.

Cities at Night: The view from Space

This article focus on urban areas and space observation, by city lights. You also find a link to NASAs video that brings us to orbital tour around world! Are you interested to find our more about city lights? This is just for you! Video: Cities at night: An orbital tour around the world

A bit more deeper takes on VIIRS and Google Earth Engine for the interested

Provided by NASA:

Getting Started with VIIRS Surface Reflectance Data (Part 1)

Getting Started with VIIRS Surface Reflectance Data (Part 2)

Exploring Earth’s Land Surface with Suomi NPP NASA VIIRS Land Data

Provided by Google:

This marketing video introduces Google Earth Engine tool.

Google Earth Engine Tutorials Series (11 videos)

Geo for Good 2019: Earth Engine Classification & Regression


Kvarken Space Conversations #3 "Springtime Vegetation Blooms"

Featured Image for Springtime Vegetation Blooms

(Image contains modfied Copernicus Sentinel Data 2020)

More discussion about indexes, the images and NDVI below, in three languages written by us.

In English: Springtime Vegetation Blooms

Suomeksi: Kevään kasvuloistoa

På Svenska:Vårens grönska

Additional information and links in English:

If you want to browse NDVI index globally at your leasure, below you have few options:

For more advanced readers, a good video tutorial on how to calculate NDVI index with SNAP, please have a look here.


Kvarken Space Conversations  #2 "Wavelengths Tell Many Stories"

Featured Image for "Wavelengths Tell Many Stories"

(Image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel Data 2020)

More discussion about wavelengths and what they are, below in three languages, written by us.

In English: A Wavelength at the Shore

Suomeksi: Aallonpituudet rannalla

På Svenska: En våglängd vid stranden

Additional information and links in English:

EO Browser is useful for quick and easy way to process and view Sentinel-2 multispectral images. Just click "Start Exploring" and get started. You can register later (it's free) if you want to access more advanced features such as custom scripting. Here, you can take a look at these possibilities.

For more advanced hands-on tutorial with Sentinel-2 MSI instrument, you can look here. You need only to install an open-source program called QGIS and then can follow the video's instructions.

For a great general and concise guide for people new to the Earth Observation, you should take a look at ESA's Newcomers Earth Observation Guide. It covers much more than just wavelengths, but it's easy to understand.



Kvarken Space Conversations  #1 "False Colors of Spring"

Featured Image for "False Colors of Spring"

(Image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2020, processed by Sentinel Hub)

Accompanied article in Finnish, English and in Swedish:

Artikkeli suomeksi

Article in English

Artikel på svenska

Interested? Kiinnostuitko? Intresserad?

More easily understandable educational information about False Color images in three languages, written by us.

In English: False Color Images

Suomeksi: Väärävärikuvat

På svenska: Falska färgbilder

Additional information and links in English:

Easiest way for beginners to explore false color satellite data is to utilize EO Browser. Just click "Start Exploring" and get started! You can later register (it's free) if you want to access the more advanced features.

If you'd like to follow a more advanced tutorial related to Sentinel-3 OLCI sensor, you can do so here. Please note, to follow this, you need to spend a bit of time getting familiar with the basic functionalities of SNAP. This is from ESA's RUS virtual environment series of tutorials, but you can just install the software to your own computer.