NASA and USGS Launch Landsat 9
Image of the Day Sep 28, 2021

NASA and USGS Launch Landsat 9

The joint effort extends a five-decade record of observing Earth’s landscapes, icescapes, and coastal waters.

Research Shows More People Living in Floodplains
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Research Shows More People Living in Floodplains

The proportion of the world’s population exposed to floods grew by 20 to 24 percent—ten times greater than what previous models had predicted.

Published Sep 27, 2021

Image of the Day Water Human Presence Remote Sensing

A Moving and Falling Target
Image

A Moving and Falling Target

Shadows accentuate the depth of the canyon that the Niagara River has carved over the past 12,000 years.

Published Sep 26, 2021

Image of the Day Water Human Presence

Cumbre Vieja Lights Up the Night
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Cumbre Vieja Lights Up the Night

An astronaut photograph shows the proximity of a volcanic eruption to nearby cities on the Spanish island of La Palma.

Published Sep 25, 2021

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Southern California Under Smoke
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Southern California Under Smoke

The KNP fire complex and Windy fire are threatening groves of giant sequoias and prompting authorities to issue evacuation orders.

Published Sep 24, 2021

Atmosphere Heat Land Fires Remote Sensing

The Road to Vandenberg
Notes from the Field

The Road to Vandenberg

One of the CubeSats launching with Landsat 9 is the Cusp Plasma Imaging Detector (CuPID), which will image the boundary where Earth’s magnetic field interacts with the Sun’s.

Published Sep 24, 2021 in Notes From the Field

Land

Lake Powell Reaches New Low
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Lake Powell Reaches New Low

Water levels at Glen Canyon Dam have fallen to their lowest level since 1969 and are still dropping.

Published Sep 23, 2021

Image of the Day Water Drought

Landsat 9 to Further NASA’s Food Security Missions
Notes from the Field

Landsat 9 to Further NASA’s Food Security Missions

Landsat satellites have enabled numerous applications in diverse fields, including the monitoring of global agriculture and food security applications.

Published Sep 23, 2021 in Notes From the Field

Land

Arctic Sea Ice 12th-Lowest on Record
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Arctic Sea Ice 12th-Lowest on Record

Sea ice covered more area this summer compared to recent years, but it was also much thinner.

Published Sep 23, 2021

Image of the Day Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Coastal Color in New Zealand
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Coastal Color in New Zealand

Patchworks and swirls of color adorn the eastern coast of the South Island.

Published Sep 22, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water

Floods Along the White Nile
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Floods Along the White Nile

Seasonal rains along the White Nile and Blue Nile can cause widespread devastation when the rivers overflow.

Published Sep 20, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Floods Human Presence

Sudbury Impact Structure
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Sudbury Impact Structure

Few craters are as large, or as old, as this impact structure in southeastern Ontario, Canada.

Published Sep 20, 2021

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Sea Surface Temperature
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Apr 2021

Sea Surface Temperature

Ocean temperatures can influence weather, such as hurricane formation, and climate patterns, such as El Niño. These maps show the temperature at the surface of the world’s seas and oceans.

Heat Water

Noirmoutier, France
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Noirmoutier, France

The small tidal island provides a bounty of oysters and salt.

Published Sep 19, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

Fire Encroaching on Giant Sequoias
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Fire Encroaching on Giant Sequoias

In the midst of another brutal fire season, several of California’s natural treasures have also been threatened.

Published Sep 16, 2021

Image of the Day Land Fires

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

Nicholas Soaks the Gulf Coast
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Nicholas Soaks the Gulf Coast

The slow-moving storm has been pulling in tropical moisture.

Published Sep 15, 2021

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Severe Storms Remote Sensing

Tournament Earth: The Landsat Games
Article

Tournament Earth: The Landsat Games

50 Years. 9 million scenes. One champion.

Published Sep 7, 2021

Land Water Human Presence Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

This Isn’t My First Rodeo
Notes from the Field

This Isn’t My First Rodeo

Engineer Andy Hynous is back in the saddle in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, where NASA’s Scientific Balloon Program is making flights for the fall 2021 balloon campaign.

Published Sep 2, 2021 in Notes From the Field

Land Surface Temperature Anomaly
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Jul 2021

Land Surface Temperature Anomaly

These maps depict anomalies in land surface temperatures (LSTs); that is, how much hotter or cooler a region was compared to the long-term average. LST anomalies can indicate heat waves or cold spells.

Heat Land

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

Carbon Monoxide
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Feb 2017

Carbon Monoxide

When fuels such as coal, wood, and oil burn incompletely, they produce carbon monoxide. The gas is spread by winds and circulation. These maps show monthly averages of CO in the lower atmosphere.

Atmosphere

SeaHawk Mission Proves CubeSats are  Viable for Collecting Scientific Data
Earth Matters

SeaHawk Mission Proves CubeSats are Viable for Collecting Scientific Data

Scientists are pleased with the compelling images and data collected by a shoebox sized satellite.

Published Aug 31, 2021 in Earth Matters

Water

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

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

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

Cloud Fraction
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Jun 2021

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

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

Aerosol Optical Depth
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Jun 2021

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

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

Land Surface Temperature
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Jul 2021

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

Earth — A Photo-Essay
Article

Earth — A Photo-Essay

NASA has a unique vantage point for observing the beauty and wonder of Earth and for making sense of it. The images in this book tell a story of a 4.5-billion-year-old planet where there is always something new to see.

Published Apr 28, 2021

Atmosphere Land Water Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Picturing Earth: Astronaut Photography In Focus
Article

Picturing Earth: Astronaut Photography In Focus

For 20 years, astronauts have been shooting photos of Earth from the space station. Like everything the astronauts do, they are trained for this job. And like everything they do, there is purpose and intention behind it.

Published Feb 8, 2021

Human Presence Remote Sensing Videos