Breakup at Brunt
Image of the Day Mar 3, 2021

Breakup at Brunt

A large iceberg finally split from the Antarctic ice shelf, but another piece stubbornly hangs on.
A Long-Ago Lake Amid the Dunes
Image

A Long-Ago Lake Amid the Dunes

The modern oasis of Jubbah sits within the wind shadow of historic mountains and the basin of an ancient lakebed.

Published Mar 2, 2021

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Japan at Night
Image

Japan at Night

The contrast of the bright lights against the dark landscape makes this a favorite astronaut photo.

Published Feb 28, 2021

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Cruising Past the Aurora Borealis
Image

Cruising Past the Aurora Borealis

Astronauts have snapped numerous photos of the light show from their unique perch on the International Space Station.

Published Feb 27, 2021

Image of the Day Atmosphere

River Colors are Changing
Image

River Colors are Changing

In the past 35 years, one third of large rivers in the United States have changed their dominant color, often due to sediments or algae.

Published Feb 26, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Remote Sensing

A Glowing Plume Over Mount Etna
Image

A Glowing Plume Over Mount Etna

Intense lava fountains and lava flows illuminated a volcanic plume spreading across Sicily during an unusually pitched night of activity at the Italian volcano.

Published Feb 25, 2021

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Volcanoes Human Presence Remote Sensing

Ethiopia’s Forest in the Clouds
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Ethiopia’s Forest in the Clouds

A range of unusual plants and wildlife lives in the Harenna Forest, but they face pressure from development.

Published Feb 24, 2021

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

A Deadly Debris Flow in India
Image

A Deadly Debris Flow in India

The torrent of debris from a mountain in the Himalaya devastated remote valleys in Uttarakhand.

Published Feb 23, 2021

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Snow and Ice Remote Sensing Landslides

From Russia with Questions
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From Russia with Questions

Researchers are puzzling over a distinctive striping pattern in the Central Siberian Plateau.

Published Feb 23, 2021

Image of the Day Land Remote Sensing

Fires Raged in the Amazon Again in 2020
Image

Fires Raged in the Amazon Again in 2020

Large numbers of deforestation-related fires burned in the Amazon rainforest, while uncontrolled wildfires blazed in savanna and grassland ecosystems in central Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay.

Published Feb 22, 2021

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Cloud Fraction
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Dec 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

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 Aug 28, 2020

Land Life

Hints of a Recent Eruption
Image

Hints of a Recent Eruption

Photographing an ongoing volcanic eruption anywhere on Earth is a matter of luck for most astronauts, but Kamchatka provides its share of opportunities.

Published Feb 21, 2021

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

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

Tracing Changes in Ozone-Depleting Chemicals
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Tracing Changes in Ozone-Depleting Chemicals

Scientists used a ground-based network and models to detect global and regional fluctuations in CFC-11 emissions to the atmosphere.

Published Feb 19, 2021

Image of the Day Atmosphere Human Presence Remote Sensing

Saharan Dust Heading for Europe
Image

Saharan Dust Heading for Europe

A substantial dust plume drifted over the Atlantic Ocean, with some of the airborne grains steering toward the northeast.

Published Feb 18, 2021

Image of the Day Land Dust and Haze

What a Lake in Turkey Can Tell Us about Mars
Earth Matters

What a Lake in Turkey Can Tell Us about Mars

By studying Lake Salda, researchers gained a better understanding of the potential microbial and geological processes at Jezero Crater.

Published Feb 17, 2021 in Earth Matters

Land

Net Radiation
Global Maps Jul 2006 — Jul 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

EO February 2021 Puzzler
Earth Matters

EO February 2021 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 Feb 16, 2021 in Earth Matters

Fire
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Dec 2020

Fire

Whether started by humans (farming, logging, or accidents) or by nature (lightning), fires are always burning somewhere on Earth. These maps show the locations of fires burning around the world each month.

Land

Land Surface Temperature
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Dec 2020

Land Surface Temperature

Land surface temperatures rise and fall with the heat of the Sun, and they represent how hot or cold the surface would feel to touch. These maps show daytime land temperatures as measured from space.

Heat Land

A Checkup for Carbon
Earth Matters

A Checkup for Carbon

Every year, a group of scientists affiliated with the Global Carbon Project give Earth something like an annual checkup.

Published Feb 11, 2021 in Earth Matters

Climate Indicators Atmosphere

Keeping a Close Eye on the Storm: Hurricanes
EO Kids

Keeping a Close Eye on the Storm: Hurricanes

Learn all about how satellites track storms – from formation, landfall, and the aftermath

Published Feb 11, 2021 in EO Kids

Water Vapor
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Dec 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

Help Us Choose the Best Photos
Earth Matters

Help Us Choose the Best Photos

More than 1,000 astronaut photos have been published on EO. Help us choose the best in our archives.

Published Feb 6, 2021 in Earth Matters

How to Interpret a Satellite Image: Five Tips and Strategies
Article

How to Interpret a Satellite Image: Five Tips and Strategies

What do you do when presented with a new satellite image? Here's what the Earth Observatory team does to understand the view.

Published Nov 18, 2013

Remote Sensing

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

What in the World Are Moon Trees?
Earth Matters

What in the World Are Moon Trees?

Fifty years ago, the Apollo astronauts carried some souvenirs from Earth to the Moon, and then brought them back.

Published Feb 2, 2021 in Earth Matters

Picturing Earth: Behind the Scenes
Article

Picturing Earth: Behind the Scenes

From their perch on the space station, astronauts have spent 20 years sharing a story about Earth as they see it from above. Like the directors of a film, those astronaut storytellers have a crew working behind the scenes to help them tell the story. Meet the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit.

Published Dec 1, 2020

Human Presence Remote Sensing Videos

Picturing Earth: Window On The World
Article

Picturing Earth: Window On The World

From their home on the International Space Station, astronauts have a view unlike anything most of us will ever see. Over 20 years, they have shot millions of photographs of Earth, and it is not just a hobby. It is an important scientific job, and one they need to be trained to do. Learn more about the challenges of watching Earth from above.

Published Nov 2, 2020

Human Presence Remote Sensing Videos

Snow Cover
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Dec 2020

Snow Cover

Snow and ice influence climate by reflecting sunlight back into space. When it melts, snow is a source of water for drinking and vegetation; too much snowmelt can lead to floods. These maps show average snow cover by month.

Snow and Ice

Could COVID-19 Have Seasons? Searching for Signals in Earth Data
Article

Could COVID-19 Have Seasons? Searching for Signals in Earth Data

A race is on to figure out whether COVID-19 will wax and wane with the seasons. Atmospheric and hydrologic models produced by NASA and other institutions may be key to that research.

Published Jul 14, 2020

Atmosphere Life Human Presence Remote Sensing

Of Mosquitoes and Models: Tracking Disease by Satellite
Article

Of Mosquitoes and Models: Tracking Disease by Satellite

A few decades ago, the idea of predicting a disease outbreak via satellite was science fiction. But today, researchers can use environmental data to predict when and where some diseases are likely to spread.

Published Jul 9, 2020

Life Human Presence Remote Sensing

Applied Sciences Collection
Article

Applied Sciences Collection

NASA satellites and sensors constantly take the pulse of our planet. Researchers apply those observations on local and regional scales to better manage things like food and water supplies, health, safety, land use, and ecosystems.

Published May 1, 2020

Human Presence Remote Sensing