Landsat Bands

Landsat 8 compared to Landsat 7 (USGS).  The green shows the transmission bands, with the absorption bands in white.

Most of the Landsat bands are in atmospheric windows, which have a high transmission and allow energy to pass through the atmosphere.  The one exception is band 9 on Landsat 8's OLI, which is located in an absorption band.  These occur where gases in the atmosphere absorb radiation of a particular wavelength, and are used to track changes in the atmosphere; band 9 is designed to pick up cirrus clouds.

Nice discussion of Landsat 8 bands, individually and as 3 band color combinations:

Landsat 7 was very similar to the Landsat 4 and 5 (and 6 if it had achieved orbit) multispectral bands.

Landsat history.

Last revision 6/18/2018