COPERNICUS SENTINEL-2 MISSION (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     4th November 2023        

Context: The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, which provides optical images of Earth's surface, recently captured stunning images of Kawah Ijen Crater Lake.

Kawah Ijen Crater Lake

  • About: Kawah Ijen is a volcanic crater lake situated in East Java, Indonesia.

o It is a component of the larger Ijen volcano complex, which comprises several other craters.

  • Acidic Crater Lake: This lake holds the distinction of being the largest highly acidic crater lake globally.
  • UNESCO Recognition: It has earned a place in UNESCO's World Biosphere Reserves.
  • Volcanic Activity in the Ijen Complex: The Ijen volcano complex remains active, with Kawah Ijen serving as one of the sites where volcanic activity is monitored.
  • Blue Fire: The volcano emits sulfur gases that can be ignited, creating impressive blue flames, particularly visible at night. These flames are often referred to as "blue fire."
  • Sulphur Mining: The vicinity of Kawah Ijen is renowned for traditional sulfur mining practices.

Copernicus Sentinel-2 Mission

  • It is a European mission with a broad focus on high-resolution, multi-spectral imaging.
  • This mission involves a pair of polar-orbiting satellites, both placed in a sun-synchronous orbit, with a 180° phase difference between them.
  • Aim: To track changes in land surface conditions. Its wide swath width (290 km) and frequent revisit times (10 days at the equator with one satellite and 5 days with 2 satellites under cloud-free conditions, translating to 2-3 days at mid-latitudes) facilitate effective monitoring of Earth's surface alterations.