Burning in Botswana
Image of the Day Aug 16, 2022

Burning in Botswana

As the country entered the late dry season, the landscape was primed for burning.
Making Pearls in the Persian Gulf
Image

Making Pearls in the Persian Gulf

The shallow water around Bahrain allows satellites to observe some effects of development on reefs and other aquatic features.

Published Aug 15, 2022

Image of the Day Water

Munga-Thirri–Simpson Desert Park
Image

Munga-Thirri–Simpson Desert Park

Linear red sand dunes are interspersed with salt-encrusted white playa lakes in Australia’s fourth-largest desert.

Published Aug 14, 2022

Image of the Day Land Water

A Glint of Southeast Asia
Image

A Glint of Southeast Asia

Water has helped define the shape of life on the Indochinese Peninsula.

Published Aug 13, 2022

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land

The Great Shrinking Lake
Image

The Great Shrinking Lake

In summer 2022, water levels in the Great Salt Lake dropped to new record lows.

Published Aug 12, 2022

Image of the Day Water Human Presence Remote Sensing

Tracking 30 Years of Sea Level Rise
Image

Tracking 30 Years of Sea Level Rise

Global mean sea level has risen 101 millimeters (3.98 inches) since 1992, and it continues to do so at 3.9 mm (0.15 inches) per year.

Published Aug 11, 2022

Image of the Day Water Remote Sensing

Scarred Land and Smoky Skies
Image

Scarred Land and Smoky Skies

The McKinney Fire—California’s largest so far in 2022—left a vast burn scar on the landscape, while nearby fires filled the air with smoke.

Published Aug 8, 2022

Image of the Day Heat Land Drought Fires

Dust and Salt in South America
Image

Dust and Salt in South America

Dust rich in salt often streams from dry mud flats on Mar Chiquita in Argentina.

Published Aug 8, 2022

Image of the Day Land

Zion National Park, Utah
Image

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is home to scenic cliffs, slot canyons, protected wilderness areas, endangered species, and archaeological sites.

Published Aug 7, 2022

Image of the Day Land

Mapping Missing Mangroves
Image

Mapping Missing Mangroves

The Landsat program’s 50 years of Earth observations have revolutionized the study of long-term global change, including the losses and gains of tidal wetlands.

Published Aug 6, 2022

Image of the Day Land Life Water

Cloud Fraction
Global Maps Feb 2000 — May 2022

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

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

Summer Melting in Svalbard
Image

Summer Melting in Svalbard

A record amount of meltwater, much of which flowed to the ocean, is the latest expression of a rapidly warming climate in Norway’s ice-covered archipelago.

Published Aug 5, 2022

Image of the Day Heat Snow and Ice 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

Muruntau Gold Mine
Image

Muruntau Gold Mine

The atoms of gold in this mine in Uzbekistan may have originated in colliding neutron stars and supernovas.

Published Aug 4, 2022

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

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

Extreme Rainfall Leads to Midwest Flooding
Image

Extreme Rainfall Leads to Midwest Flooding

Such extreme precipitation events and weather are becoming more likely with climate change.

Published Aug 2, 2022

Image of the Day Water Floods Human Presence

August Puzzler
Earth Matters

August Puzzler

Your challenge is to tell us the location of the satellite image and why it is interesting.

Published Aug 2, 2022

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

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

Quadcopter Takes Flight in a Maryland Forest
Notes from the Field

Quadcopter Takes Flight in a Maryland Forest

Students retrieved and analyzed leaves form the tops of trees—the same part of the forest that is observed by instruments on the International Space Station.

Published Aug 1, 2022

Land

To Infinity and Beyond
Notes from the Field

To Infinity and Beyond

Teaching and telling others about science is what keeps Alex Haughton coming into work.

Published Jul 28, 2022

Aerosol Optical Depth
Global Maps Mar 2000 — May 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

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

Net Radiation
Global Maps Jul 2006 — Apr 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

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

Boom
Notes from the Field

Boom

The DEUCE payload stands vertical, moments away from being launched into space.

Published Jul 21, 2022

Launch Night
Notes from the Field

Launch Night

Sounding rockets provide a fast and cheap route to prove the viability of cutting-edge instrumentation.

Published Jul 19, 2022

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

Falling for the Colors
Article

Falling for the Colors

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

Published Oct 26, 2021

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

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

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