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Fires Burn in Northern Ukraine
A Delta Oasis in Southeastern Kazakhstan
Taking Temperatures from ISS
Tropical Cyclone Harold Blasts Vanuatu
Image of the Day Apr 10, 2020

Fires Burn in Northern Ukraine

For six days, wildfires have been spreading near the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Fires Burn in Northern Ukraine
Image

Fires Burn in Northern Ukraine

For six days, wildfires have been spreading near the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Published Apr 9, 2020

Image of the Day Land

Nimbus-4: A Satellite Pioneer For Ozone Research
Earth Matters

Nimbus-4: A Satellite Pioneer For Ozone Research

When NASA launched the Nimbus-4 satellite 50 years ago, nobody knew the ozone layer over Antarctica was thinning.

Published Apr 9, 2020 in Earth Matters

Atmosphere

A Delta Oasis in Southeastern Kazakhstan
Image

A Delta Oasis in Southeastern Kazakhstan

The rich mosaic of reeds, ponds, and meadows of the Ili River Delta offer habitat for hundreds of species.

Published Apr 7, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Snow and Ice

And Then There Were Eight
Earth Matters

And Then There Were Eight

There have been two rounds of voting in Tournament Earth, and two rounds of upsets. What surprises await in round 3?

Published Apr 7, 2020 in Earth Matters

Taking Temperatures from ISS
Image

Taking Temperatures from ISS

During nearly a year of flight testing on the space station, a new thermal infrared camera collected more than 15 million images.

Published Apr 7, 2020

Image of the Day Heat Land Remote Sensing

MOSAiC Meets ICESat-2
Notes from the Field

MOSAiC Meets ICESat-2

Using a helicopter, a laser, and precise GPS coordinates, MOSAiC expedition scientists made measurements that will help validate sea ice data collected by NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite.

Published Apr 7, 2020 in Notes From the Field

Tropical Cyclone Harold Blasts Vanuatu
Image

Tropical Cyclone Harold Blasts Vanuatu

The category 5 storm wreaked havoc on the small island nation in the South Pacific.

Published Apr 6, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Human Presence Remote Sensing

Measuring Drought in South America
Image

Measuring Drought in South America

Twin satellites are assessing the state of soil moisture and groundwater on the continent and around the world.

Published Apr 5, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Remote Sensing

Ni’ihau
Image

Ni’ihau

Despite sporadic rainfall, the island is the occasional home of two of the larger bodies of water in Hawaii.

Published Apr 3, 2020

Image of the Day Land

Lake Beloye
Image

Lake Beloye

This lake in northwest Russia is small compared to Lake Baikal, yet it still manages to make a stately appearance in satellite imagery.

Published Apr 3, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Snow and Ice

Israel’s Heart-Shaped Crater
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Israel’s Heart-Shaped Crater

At 500 meters deep, the Makhtesh Ramon is the world’s largest erosion crater.

Published Apr 2, 2020

Image of the Day Land

Instrument Rescue Operation
Notes from the Field

Instrument Rescue Operation

After cracks formed in the sea ice, the MOSAiC expedition team decided to move instruments to safer location.

Published Apr 2, 2020 in Notes From the Field

New Ground for an Ancient City
Image

New Ground for an Ancient City

The fast-growing city of Cairo has spilled onto desert plains well beyond the lush floodplain of the Nile River.

Published Apr 1, 2020

Image of the Day Land

Relentless Floods
Image

Relentless Floods

High water on the James River in South Dakota has persisted for more than a year.

Published Mar 31, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Floods Severe Storms Human Presence Remote Sensing

March Puzzler
Earth Matters

March Puzzler

Every month we offer a puzzling satellite image. Your challenge is to tell us what we are looking at, where it is, and why it is interesting.

Published Mar 31, 2020 in Earth Matters

Earth at Night
Article

Earth at Night

Satellite images of Earth at night have been a curiosity for the public and a tool of fundamental research for at least 25 years. They have provided a broad, beautiful picture, showing how humans have shaped the planet and lit up the darkness.

Published Apr 12, 2017

Atmosphere Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Total Rainfall
Global Maps Jan 1998 — Aug 2016

Total Rainfall

These maps depict monthly total rainfall around the world. Rainfall is the primary source of fresh water for humans, plants, and animals. Rain also moves heat between the atmosphere, oceans, and land.

Atmosphere

Drifting With Broken Sea Ice
Image

Drifting With Broken Sea Ice

Cracks in the Arctic sea ice are important for satellite-based measurements of the ice’s thickness. They also pose challenges for ship-based researchers participating in the MOSAiC expedition.

Published Mar 30, 2020

Image of the Day Water Human Presence Snow and Ice

Could Satellites Help Head Off a Locust Invasion?
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Could Satellites Help Head Off a Locust Invasion?

Researchers are using satellite data to understand where locusts may spread during the largest infestation in eastern Africa in decades.

Published Mar 27, 2020

Image of the Day Land Remote Sensing

Aerosol Optical Depth
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Feb 2020

Aerosol Optical Depth

Airborne aerosols can cause or prevent cloud formation and harm human health. These maps depict aerosol concentrations in the air based on how the tiny particles reflect or absorb visible and infrared light.

Atmosphere

The Disappearance of Ecuador’s Tallest Waterfall
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The Disappearance of Ecuador’s Tallest Waterfall

A newly formed sinkhole on the Coca River has diverted water originally headed towards the San Rafael Waterfall.

Published Mar 27, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water

Sunlit Peaks in the Himalayas
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Sunlit Peaks in the Himalayas

Earth’s third-highest summit, Kangchenjunga, rises more than 8500 meters above sea level along the border of Nepal and India.

Published Mar 27, 2020

Image of the Day Land

Nighttime Images Capture Change in China
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Nighttime Images Capture Change in China

Night lights not only speak to where we live, but how.

Published Mar 26, 2020

Image of the Day Land Life Human Presence Remote Sensing

Choose Your Champion: Tournament Earth 2020
Article

Choose Your Champion: Tournament Earth 2020

Vote for your favorite all-time Earth Observatory image. Help narrow the field from 32 nominees down to one champion in a five-round tournament.

Published Mar 26, 2020

Atmosphere Land Life Water Snow and Ice Remote Sensing Videos

Net Radiation
Global Maps Jul 2006 — Feb 2020

Net Radiation

Net radiation is the balance between incoming and outgoing energy at the top of the atmosphere. It is the total energy available to influence climate after light and heat are reflected, absorbed, or emitted by clouds and land.

Heat

Cloud Fraction
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Feb 2020

Cloud Fraction

In addition to making rain and snow, clouds can have a warming or cooling influence depending on their altitude, type, and when they form. These maps show what fraction of an area was cloudy each month.

Atmosphere

Blue Marble Next Generation
Article

Blue Marble Next Generation

12 months of high-resolution global true color satellite imagery.

Published Oct 13, 2005

Atmosphere Land Water Snow and Ice

A Dusty Day Over the Aral Sea
Image

A Dusty Day Over the Aral Sea

The shrinking of this once-vast inland lake means winds more frequently pick up dust from the exposed lakebed.

Published Mar 25, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Dust and Haze

Sea Ice Below Normal Despite a Seasonal Bump
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Sea Ice Below Normal Despite a Seasonal Bump

Slight recoveries in the extent of sea ice at both poles were not enough to return to long-term normal levels.

Published Mar 24, 2020

Image of the Day Water Snow and Ice Remote Sensing Sea and Lake Ice

A Clearer View of Hazy Skies
Article

A Clearer View of Hazy Skies

Industrialization has brought incredible societal advances and difficult pollution problems. From space, we can see skies clearing in some regions and darkening in others. The thin blue line of our atmosphere is still quite vulnerable.

Published Jun 24, 2014

Atmosphere Human Presence Remote Sensing

Mission: Biomes
Article

Mission: Biomes

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a different part of the world? What would the weather be like? What kinds of animals would you see? Which plants live there? By investigating these questions, you are learning about biomes.

Published Oct 5, 2000

Land Life

Snow-Parched Scandinavia
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Snow-Parched Scandinavia

Winter is loosening its grip on the Northern Hemisphere, but the seasonal change in Northern Europe is less dramatic than most years.

Published Mar 23, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Snow and Ice

Healing Scars at Kaho’olawe
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Healing Scars at Kaho’olawe

The Hawaiian island has been scarred by volcanic eruptions, livestock grazing, penal colonies, bombs, and fire. Yet there is hope for healing.

Published Mar 20, 2020

Image of the Day Land Life

Getting an EPIC Perspective
Earth Matters

Getting an EPIC Perspective

Good news has been scarce. But here's at least one update ― from one million miles away ― to appreciate.

Published Mar 20, 2020 in Earth Matters

Leads Everywhere
Notes from the Field

Leads Everywhere

Cracks in the sea ice are a not-so-gentle reminder that the ice can be extremely dynamic, and researchers should be prepared for anything.

Published Mar 20, 2020 in Notes From the Field

Swollen Rivers in Channel Country
Image

Swollen Rivers in Channel Country

Heavy rain in March drenches parched land in southwestern Queensland.

Published Mar 20, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Unique Imagery Remote Sensing

Waving at the Kerguelen Islands
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Waving at the Kerguelen Islands

They are geographically isolated but scientifically and visually compelling.

Published Mar 20, 2020

Image of the Day Land

Water Vapor
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Feb 2020

Water Vapor

These maps show the average amount of water vapor in a column of atmosphere by month. Water vapor is the key precursor for rain and snow and one of the most important greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Atmosphere

Drift Ice in the Sea of Okhotsk
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Drift Ice in the Sea of Okhotsk

Carried by winds and currents, sea ice can reach the coast of Hokkaido, Japan.

Published Mar 19, 2020

Image of the Day Water Snow and Ice Sea and Lake Ice

Parasitic Cones in Hokkaido
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Parasitic Cones in Hokkaido

These nested volcanic features grew as small, secondary vents along the flanks of larger volcanoes.

Published Mar 18, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water

An Ash-Damaged Island in the Philippines
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An Ash-Damaged Island in the Philippines

When it erupted in January 2020, Taal Volcano blanketed the surrounding area with volcanic debris that has taken a toll on farmers.

Published Mar 17, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Volcanoes Human Presence

Slowly Flooding History
Image

Slowly Flooding History

The 12,000-year old town of Hasankeyf could soon be underwater due to the construction of a new dam.

Published Mar 16, 2020

Image of the Day Water Human Presence

The MOSAiC Floe
Notes from the Field

The MOSAiC Floe

Central to the entire MOSAiC Expedition is the MOSAiC Floe: a large sheet of sea ice that was carefully selected as the ideal place to anchor Polarstern for an entire year.

Published Mar 16, 2020 in Notes From the Field

Making and Melting Ice at Earth's Poles
EO Kids

Making and Melting Ice at Earth's Poles

Find out about sea ice and its effects on ecosystems and global climate by looking at how and when it forms on Earth. Plus, learn how different types of water freeze in our “DIY Science” activity: “Saltwater is Cool (Literally).”

Published Mar 13, 2020 in EO Kids

Heat Atmosphere Snow and Ice Water

Farewell to Leg 2—Now Our Work Begins
Notes from the Field

Farewell to Leg 2—Now Our Work Begins

The MOSAiC Leg 3 team is officially on board the Polarstern, and science activities have quickly begun.

Published Mar 13, 2020 in Notes From the Field

Ice Eddies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence
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Ice Eddies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Winds and currents stirred up the thin sea ice, forming delicate patterns around Anticosti Island in Quebec, Canada.

Published Mar 13, 2020

Image of the Day Water Unique Imagery Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Fresh Water in Channel Country
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Fresh Water in Channel Country

Big rain events in Queensland can alter the landscape for months as water—and then a carpet of vegetation—moves toward Lake Eyre.

Published Mar 13, 2020

Atmosphere Land Water Unique Imagery

Jebel Marra, Sudan
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Jebel Marra, Sudan

The almost circular massif in the Darfur region is a large cluster of volcanoes and lava flows, with a few traces of human activity.

Published Mar 13, 2020

Image of the Day Land

Airborne Nitrogen Dioxide Decreases Over Italy
Earth Matters

Airborne Nitrogen Dioxide Decreases Over Italy

New data from the European Space Agency now show drops in nitrogen dioxide concentrations over Italy due to that country's nationwide lockdown.

Published Mar 13, 2020 in Earth Matters

A Space Communications Hub in Australia
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A Space Communications Hub in Australia

The Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex plays a key role in keeping engineers and scientists connected to distant spacecraft.

Published Mar 13, 2020

Image of the Day Human Presence Remote Sensing

Retreat at Pine Island Glacier
Article

Retreat at Pine Island Glacier

Pine Island Glacier is one of the fastest-retreating glaciers in Antarctica. Watch the glacier’s ice front as it retreats and sheds some notable icebergs over the past two decades.

Published Feb 13, 2020

Snow and Ice Remote Sensing Videos

World of Change: Global Temperatures
Article

World of Change: Global Temperatures

The average global temperature has increased by a little more than 1° Celsius (2° Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975.

Published Jan 29, 2020

Atmosphere Heat Land Water Human Presence World of Change

Spotting the Spotted Owl
Article

Spotting the Spotted Owl

Scientists create maps of forest cover to understand where the composition and structure of Pacific Northwest forests are sufficient for the threatened species to nest and roost.

Published Jan 3, 2020

Life Human Presence World of Change

Best of 2019
Article

Best of 2019

2019 brought many memorable events on Planet Earth. Here are a few highlights from around the globe.

Published Dec 20, 2019

Atmosphere Land Water Videos

Chlorophyll
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Feb 2020

Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is used by algae and other phytoplankton--the grass of the sea--to convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into sugars. These maps show chlorophyll concentrations in the ocean, revealing where phytoplankton are thriving.

Life Water