Some features of this site are not compatible with your browser. Install Opera Mini to better experience this site.

Another Lively Season of Night-Shining Clouds
Fueled by the Nile
Nishinoshima Belches Ash and Lava
Cuba’s Gulf of Guacanayabo
Image of the Day Jul 9, 2020

Another Lively Season of Night-Shining Clouds

Extremely cold and wet conditions in the mesosphere have led to abundant noctilucent clouds.

Another Lively Season of Night-Shining Clouds
Image

Another Lively Season of Night-Shining Clouds

Extremely cold and wet conditions in the mesosphere have led to abundant noctilucent clouds.

Published Jul 8, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Remote Sensing

Fueled by the Nile
Image

Fueled by the Nile

Irrigation from Lake Nasser, one of the world’s largest man-made lakes, has increased the amount of arable land and crop production in Egypt.

Published Jul 7, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence Remote Sensing

Nishinoshima Belches Ash and Lava
Image

Nishinoshima Belches Ash and Lava

A young volcanic island in the western Pacific Ocean has been going through some growing pains.

Published Jul 6, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Volcanoes Remote Sensing

Pacific Northwest Bathed in Green and White
Image

Pacific Northwest Bathed in Green and White

The Olympic Peninsula, Cascade Mountains, and Salish Sea caught the eye of an astronaut on the space station.

Published Jul 3, 2020

Image of the Day Land

Shifting Seasons on the Steppe
Image

Shifting Seasons on the Steppe

Linear features in the Kulunda region of southwestern Russia look as if a large claw has scraped the land surface.

Published Jul 2, 2020

Image of the Day Land

Landslide Blocks Rio Colca
Image

Landslide Blocks Rio Colca

In Peru, a landslide damaged farmland and stopped the flow of an important local river.

Published Jul 2, 2020

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Scouting Watering Holes from Space
Image

Scouting Watering Holes from Space

Satellites may make it easier for nomadic herders in Senegal to survive the lean season.

Published Jul 1, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Remote Sensing

June Puzzler
Earth Matters

June Puzzler

Every month on Earth Matters, 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 Jun 30, 2020 in Earth Matters

A Dust Plume to Remember
Image

A Dust Plume to Remember

While dust routinely blows across the Atlantic Ocean, scientists rarely see plumes as large and dense with particles as the one that darkened Caribbean skies in June 2020.

Published Jun 29, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Dust and Haze Remote Sensing

Into the Ice
Notes from the Field

Into the Ice

MOSAiC expedition scientists returned to the Arctic sea-ice pack, greeted by a surprisingly distinct boundary between the open ocean and pack ice.

Published Jun 29, 2020 in Notes From the Field

Johns Hopkins Glacier
Image

Johns Hopkins Glacier

While most glaciers in southeast Alaska are losing an astounding amount of ice, this glacier has been relatively stable.

Published Jun 29, 2020

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

Land Surface Temperature
Global Maps Feb 2000 — May 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

NASA, ESA, and JAXA Provide Global Observations of COVID-19 Impacts
Earth Matters

NASA, ESA, and JAXA Provide Global Observations of COVID-19 Impacts

The web platform combines the collective scientific power of the agencies' Earth-observing satellites to document changes in the environment and society during the pandemic.

Published Jun 29, 2020 in Earth Matters

Water

Channeling a Bloom
Image

Channeling a Bloom

Unusually clear skies and persistent, unseasonable heat may have set the stage for large and persistent blooms of phytoplankton in the waters around England.

Published Jun 26, 2020

Image of the Day Life Water Water Color

Cuba’s Gulf of Guacanayabo
Image

Cuba’s Gulf of Guacanayabo

Sediments flowing into the bay from the Río Cauto have built up an impressive delta and even helped bury a reef.

Published Jun 26, 2020

Image of the Day Land

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

Space Station Sails Across the Sun
Image

Space Station Sails Across the Sun

A NASA photographer captured the ISS as it passed directly between the Sun and Earth.

Published Jun 26, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Human Presence

Ankara at Night
Image

Ankara at Night

Bright shades of white and yellow light up the geographic and political heart of Turkey.

Published Jun 26, 2020

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Cloud Fraction
Global Maps Feb 2000 — May 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

Farewells
Notes from the Field

Farewells

Leg 4 scientists and crew with the MOSAiC expedition have finally headed for the Arctic ice pack.

Published Jun 25, 2020 in Notes From the Field

Signs of Drought in European Groundwater
Image

Signs of Drought in European Groundwater

Long-term rainfall deficits, heat waves, and increased evaporation have depleted some of the groundwater supply beneath central and eastern Europe.

Published Jun 25, 2020

Image of the Day Heat Drought Temperature Extremes

Contrasting Landscape in Namibia
Image

Contrasting Landscape in Namibia

The town of Mariental sits at the convergence of the Kalahari Desert and the Central Plateau.

Published Jun 24, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

Heat and Fire Scorches Siberia
Image

Heat and Fire Scorches Siberia

Fires are raging in eastern Siberia in the midst of an unusually long-lived heat wave.

Published Jun 23, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat Land Drought Fires Remote Sensing Temperature Extremes

Volcanic Emissions Can Change Clouds
Image

Volcanic Emissions Can Change Clouds

The volcanoes of the remote South Sandwich Islands make an ideal natural laboratory for studying how airborne particles alter clouds.

Published Jun 19, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Snow and Ice 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

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

Dust Traverses the Atlantic Ocean
Image

Dust Traverses the Atlantic Ocean

A tremendous plume of dust from North Africa drifts toward the Caribbean and contiguous United States.

Published Jun 19, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Dust and Haze Remote Sensing

Mogadishu, Somalia
Image

Mogadishu, Somalia

An array of sandy colors paint the landscape around the capital and port city.

Published Jun 19, 2020

Image of the Day Land

Lonar Lake Tries On a Rosy Color
Image

Lonar Lake Tries On a Rosy Color

The lake in west-central India promptly changed from green to pink, and the reason why remains a mystery.

Published Jun 18, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water

Southeastern Australia Turns Green
Image

Southeastern Australia Turns Green

After two years of severe drought, abundant rain finally fell over the Australian state and turned the landscape green.

Published Jun 18, 2020

Image of the Day Land Life

Bush Fire Scorches Lands Near Phoenix
Image

Bush Fire Scorches Lands Near Phoenix

The blaze is the largest in Arizona this year and the largest in the United States right now.

Published Jun 16, 2020

Image of the Day Heat Land Fires Human Presence Remote Sensing

Research Roundup: Depicting Change Across Earth's Frozen Places
Earth Matters

Research Roundup: Depicting Change Across Earth's Frozen Places

A series of recent research papers shows that we know more than ever before about the ice on our land and covering the seas. Here’s a look at some of the notable findings.

Published Jun 15, 2020 in Earth Matters

Mediterranean Sunglint
Image

Mediterranean Sunglint

The play of sunlight on water gives definition to the jagged coastlines of Sardinia and Corsica.

Published Jun 11, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water

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

Norwegian Fjord Turns Turquoise
Image

Norwegian Fjord Turns Turquoise

In May 2020, a vivid phytoplankton bloom colored the surface waters of the country’s second-longest fjord.

Published Jun 10, 2020

Image of the Day Water Water Color

Sea Surface Temperature
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Feb 2020

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

Vegetation
Global Maps Mar 2000 — May 2020

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

The Blooming Blues
Image

The Blooming Blues

After studying 71 lakes in 33 countries, researchers found that phytoplankton and algae blooms are generally increasing around the world.

Published Jun 10, 2020

Image of the Day Water Remote Sensing

Green Lagoons No More
Image

Green Lagoons No More

With so much of its water diverted, the Colorado River Delta has dried out and lost much of its vegetation and wildlife.

Published Jun 10, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water

Cloud Changes in Busy Ship Corridors
Image

Cloud Changes in Busy Ship Corridors

Ship emissions in the southeast Atlantic help create more reflective clouds that produce a local cooling effect.

Published Jun 8, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Remote Sensing

Tropical Depression Cristobal
Image

Tropical Depression Cristobal

The tropical cyclone continued to weaken as it moved inland, but still threatened parts of the United States with heavy rain.

Published Jun 8, 2020

Atmosphere Land Water Severe Storms 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

Frozen Finland Thaws
Image

Frozen Finland Thaws

After a harsh winter in northern Finland, warm temperatures rapidly melted snow to cause significant flooding.

Published Jun 5, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Drought Fires Human Presence Snow and Ice Temperature Extremes

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

Tournament Earth - Best of EO
Article

Tournament Earth - Best of EO

After five rounds and 56,000 votes, the readers have chosen their favorite. We have a Tournament Earth 2020 champion.

Published Apr 28, 2020

Human Presence Remote Sensing

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

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

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