La Niña Times Three
Image of the Day Dec 8, 2022

La Niña Times Three

Three consecutive years of La Niña conditions in the eastern Pacific Ocean make this a rare “triple dip” event.
Orion Views Earth from Afar
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Orion Views Earth from Afar

Fifty years after Apollo 17 astronauts photographed the iconic “blue marble” image, cameras in space have again captured distant views of our home planet.

Published Dec 7, 2022

Image of the Day Life

A Burst of Activity at Mount Semeru
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A Burst of Activity at Mount Semeru

Intense explosions at the summit sent avalanches of ash and mud racing down the southeastern flank of the Indonesian volcano.

Published Dec 6, 2022

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Lake Achit and the Khovd River Floodplain
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Lake Achit and the Khovd River Floodplain

Water, frozen and flowing, shapes and colors this rural area of Western Mongolia.

Published Dec 4, 2022

Image of the Day Land Snow and Ice

Breathing Life into the Ocean
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Breathing Life into the Ocean

Almost all life in the ocean depends on tiny photosynthetic organisms known as phytoplankton.

Published Dec 3, 2022

Image of the Day Atmosphere Life Water Remote Sensing

Fires in Northwest Argentina
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Fires in Northwest Argentina

Forests are burning after being primed by warm temperatures and a lack of rain.

Published Dec 1, 2022

Image of the Day Land Fires Remote Sensing

Vibrant Aurora Over Hudson Bay
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Vibrant Aurora Over Hudson Bay

The light show dipped south of the Arctic Circle, where it was especially bright over northeastern Canada.

Published Dec 1, 2022

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Mauna Loa Awakens
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Mauna Loa Awakens

During the first eruption in nearly four decades, satellites observed the volcano’s nighttime glow and sulfur dioxide plume.

Published Nov 29, 2022

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Volcanoes Remote Sensing

Phytoplankton May Be Abundant Under Antarctic Sea Ice
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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
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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

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

Wetlands of Adair Bay
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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

Cranberry Bogs in Plymouth County
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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

Blue Marble Next Generation
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Blue Marble Next Generation

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

Published Oct 13, 2005

Atmosphere Land Water Snow and Ice

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

Land Surface Temperature Anomaly
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Sep 2022

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

EO On This Day
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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

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

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

Net Radiation
Global Maps Jul 2006 — Sep 2022

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

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

Earth at Night
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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

Fall Colors Around the Planet
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Fall Colors Around the Planet

As green chlorophyll fades from trees and plants each autumn, other pigments color Earth’s landscapes. Satellites take leaf-peeping to a whole new level.

Published Oct 26, 2021

Land Life

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

World of Change
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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

Mission: Biomes
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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
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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

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