Mauna Loa Awakens
Image of the Day Nov 30, 2022

Mauna Loa Awakens

During the first eruption in nearly four decades, satellites observed the volcano’s nighttime glow and sulfur dioxide plume.
Phytoplankton May Be Abundant Under Antarctic Sea Ice
Image

Phytoplankton May Be Abundant Under Antarctic Sea Ice

New evidence shows that a sufficient amount of daylight penetrates the ice to sustain blooms of floating, plant-like organisms.

Published Nov 29, 2022

Image of the Day Life Water Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Hudson Bay’s Nastapoka Arc
Image

Hudson Bay’s Nastapoka Arc

The origin of this nearly perfectly curved shoreline, a feature not often found in nature, has prompted an ongoing geologic debate.

Published Nov 28, 2022

Image of the Day Land Water

Wetlands of Adair Bay
Image

Wetlands of Adair Bay

The estuary system marks the transition between the Great Altar Desert in northwestern Mexico and the Gulf of California.

Published Nov 27, 2022

Image of the Day Land Water

From Patches to Pies, Illinois Knows Pumpkins
Image

From Patches to Pies, Illinois Knows Pumpkins

Much of the canned pumpkin that ends up in Thanksgiving pies and soups came from Central Illinois. 

Published Nov 25, 2022

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Cranberry Bogs in Plymouth County
Image

Cranberry Bogs in Plymouth County

Massachusetts has a long-standing relationship with one of Thanksgiving’s iconic foods—the cranberry.

Published Nov 24, 2022

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

Idaho’s Potato Belt
Image

Idaho’s Potato Belt

Almost one-third of American potatoes are grown in the Snake River Plain, a belt of low-lying land in the southern part of the state.

Published Nov 23, 2022

Image of the Day Land

Dusty Copper River Delta
Image

Dusty Copper River Delta

Plumes from this part of Alaska happen in autumn when winds are strong, water levels are low, and snow has not yet blanketed the floodplain.

Published Nov 22, 2022

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Snow and Ice

The Colorado River Cuts a Canyon
Image

The Colorado River Cuts a Canyon

Over millions of years, the mighty river carved through old sedimentary rocks even as the landmass was rising.

Published Nov 20, 2022

Image of the Day Land

Stadium City Qatar
Image

Stadium City Qatar

Several new stadiums were built in and around Doha for the World Cup.

Published Nov 19, 2022

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

More Flooding in Australia’s Soggy Southeast
Image

More Flooding in Australia’s Soggy Southeast

After an extremely wet October, storms in November 2022 have added to ongoing flooding across New South Wales and Victoria.

Published Nov 18, 2022

Image of the Day Land Water Floods Human Presence

Aerosol Optical Depth
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Sep 2022

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

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

Strait of Tartary in Autumn
Image

Strait of Tartary in Autumn

Sediment and dissolved organic matter carried by the Amur River contribute to the colorful waters visible in the strait.

Published Nov 18, 2022

Image of the Day Land Water

Vegetation
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Aug 2022

Vegetation

Greenness is an important indicator of health for forests, grasslands, and farms. The greenness of a landscape, or vegetation index, depends on the number and type of plants, how leafy they are, and how healthy they are.

Land Life

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

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

Fire
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Sep 2022

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

World of Change
Article

World of Change

NASA satellites document how our world—forests, oceans, human landscapes, even the Sun—changes over months, seasons, and years.

Published Apr 29, 2009

Atmosphere Heat Land Life Human Presence Snow and Ice

Carbonate Swirls Spin from the Bahamas
Image

Carbonate Swirls Spin from the Bahamas

Hurricane Nicole turned the shallow waters along the Abaco Islands into an eddy factory.

Published Nov 17, 2022

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water 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

EO On This Day
Article

EO On This Day

In honor of our site anniversary, we offer a selection of some of the most beautiful, newsworthy, interesting, and scientifically important images from 23 years online — one image for each day of the calendar year.

Published Apr 26, 2022

Atmosphere Heat Land Life Water Snow and Ice

Tournament Earth: Elemental Edition—Finals
Article

Tournament Earth: Elemental Edition—Finals

For the third time in a decade, the winner hails from the Canary Islands.

Published Mar 1, 2022

Human Presence Remote Sensing

NASA Earth Observatory Goes to the Beach
Article

NASA Earth Observatory Goes to the Beach

Summer is beach season in the northern hemisphere. But even if you're a regular at your local swimming hole, you probably haven't seen too many beaches from this perspective. See the satellite and space-station views of various shorelines from across the United States. No sunblock necessary.

Published Jul 22, 2021

Land Videos

Aerosol Size
Global Maps Jan 2005 — Sep 2016

Aerosol Size

Sea salt, volcanic ash, dust, wildfire smoke, and industrial pollution are types of airborne aerosols. Natural aerosols tend to be larger than human-made aerosols. These maps show when and where aerosols come from nature, humans, or both.

Atmosphere

Net Primary Productivity
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Nov 2016

Net Primary Productivity

These maps show the ‘metabolism” of Earth’s plants and trees. Net primary productivity is the difference between the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed during photosynthesis minus the amount released by respiration.

Land Life

A Celebration of Clouds: From Space, Earth Has an Elegant Atmosphere
Article

A Celebration of Clouds: From Space, Earth Has an Elegant Atmosphere

Clouds can be a nuisance when scientists are trying to observe features on Earth's surface. But at other times, clouds are exactly what they want to see. These images highlight some of the more unusual and beautiful clouds observed in recent years from space.

Published Jun 21, 2021

Atmosphere Remote Sensing

EO Explorer
Article

EO Explorer

Since 1999, Earth Observatory has published images and stories from all over our planet. Now you can explore more than 11,000 images in a different way: by location.

Published Jun 2, 2021

Land Water Remote Sensing

Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly
Global Maps Jun 2002 — Sep 2011

Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly

These maps depict how much hotter or cooler an ocean basin was compared to the long-term average. Temperature anomalies can indicate changes in ocean circulation or the arrival of patterns like El Niño and La Niña.

Heat Water