The Landsat 8 satellite circles the earth in a near polar orbit. See this YouTube video to see an animation of the orbit of Landsat 7 which is identical to Landsat 8 but offset by 8 days. The resulting images are captured in specific spots on the surface of the earth laid out in rows and slightly diagonal columns, which the USGS has numbered and calls the Worldwide Reference System 2 (WRS-2). WRS-2 has been used for Landsats 4,5,6 and 7. Landsats 1,2 and 3 used WRS-1. You can download a KML file here showing the outlines in Google Earth.
Because the Landsat orbit is slightly tilted with respect to Earth’s axis of rotation, the poles are not covered. Strangely, there is also a gap at the antimeridian (the 180th meridian). We don’t know what the reason for the gap is, as the satellite clearly does fly over the anti-meridian. This becomes very noticeable if you turn on ‘historical imagery’ and look at the South Pole:
You can see in brighter white the area not covered by Landsat imagery as well as the odd gap at the antimeridian.
As we have mentioned before, Google Earth has an imperfect join at the antimeridian and if you follow it you will notice a number of glitches in the imagery and there is even a noticeable line in the ocean floor data.
Noticeable glitches in imagery at the antimeridian.