Emissions from Fossil Fuels Continue to Rise
Image of the Day Mar 5, 2024

Emissions from Fossil Fuels Continue to Rise

Scientists’ annual checkup on Earth’s carbon cycle found that burning oil, coal, and natural gas is impeding progress to limit climate change.
An Oasis of Green in Senegal
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An Oasis of Green in Senegal

Wetlands in Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary are used by millions of migrating birds.

Published Mar 4, 2024

Image of the Day Land

Sierra Vista
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Sierra Vista

This city in southern Arizona is surrounded by mountains, national forest, and conservation areas.

Published Mar 3, 2024

Image of the Day Land

New Lows for Great Lakes Ice Cover
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New Lows for Great Lakes Ice Cover

The effects of a warm winter in the upper Midwest are evident in the lack of lake ice.

Published Feb 29, 2024

Image of the Day Land Water Severe Storms Temperature Extremes

A Climate Archive Melts
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A Climate Archive Melts

The surface melting of a high-elevation glacier in the Alps has rendered it unusable for scientific research.

Published Feb 29, 2024

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

Fires in Guatemala
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Fires in Guatemala

The blaze near Quetzaltenango was one of several burning across the country.  

Published Feb 27, 2024

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Fires

Antarctica Unpinned
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Antarctica Unpinned

New research shows that while some Antarctic ice shelves have been thinning since at least the 1970s, widespread thinning accelerated in the 1990s.

Published Feb 27, 2024

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

Making Sense of Holes in the Clouds
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Making Sense of Holes in the Clouds

Scientists speculated about these holes for decades, but it’s now well understood that cavum clouds are caused by airplanes.

Published Feb 26, 2024

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water

Mount Nemrut’s Compelling Caldera
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Mount Nemrut’s Compelling Caldera

Lakes and lava flows fill the depression atop this geologically young stratovolcano in eastern Türkiye.

Published Feb 25, 2024

Image of the Day Land

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 — Jan 2023

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

Sediment Fans Out Over the Yangtze Bank
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Sediment Fans Out Over the Yangtze Bank

A distinct plume of suspended sediment is a persistent winter feature off China’s coast.

Published Feb 24, 2024

Image of the Day Land

Nusantara: A New Capital City in the Forest
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Nusantara: A New Capital City in the Forest

The future site of Indonesia’s new capital saw rapid change between 2022 and 2024.

Published Feb 23, 2024

Image of the Day Land Life Human Presence

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

Drought Parches Morocco
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Drought Parches Morocco

Reservoirs are running out of water and crops are browning in the North African country.  

Published Feb 22, 2024

Image of the Day Land

Aerosol Optical Depth
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Sep 2023

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

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

A Rare Tropical Storm in the South Atlantic
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A Rare Tropical Storm in the South Atlantic

Akará is only the third such storm recorded in the region since 2015.

Published Feb 20, 2024

Image of the Day Atmosphere Severe Storms

Total Rainfall
Global Maps Jun 2000 — Jun 2023

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

Grounding Perspectives
Notes from the Field

Grounding Perspectives

Scientists and disaster risk-reduction practitioners visited Nepal to view major landslide sites and better understand what satellite data reveal about the landscape.

Published Feb 13, 2024

Snow Cover
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Sep 2023

Snow Cover

Snow and ice influence climate by reflecting sunlight back into space. When it melts, snow is a source of water for drinking and vegetation; too much snowmelt can lead to floods. These maps show average snow cover by month.

Snow and Ice

Little Things Make a Big Difference
Notes from the Field

Little Things Make a Big Difference

Individual bits of tiny living beings and inanimate particles are too small for your eye to see. But when billions to trillions of them aggregate in one place, they can make a vast difference in life on Earth.

Published Feb 7, 2024

Atmosphere Water

Land Surface Temperature
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Sep 2023

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

February Puzzler
Earth Matters

February Puzzler

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

Published Feb 6, 2024

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

How to Interpret a Satellite Image: Five Tips and Strategies
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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

The Long and Winding Road to Launch
Notes from the Field

The Long and Winding Road to Launch

For NASA and the ocean science community, the PACE launch will be the culmination of at least a decade of work. For me, it will be the culmination of something that started in 1950.

Published Feb 5, 2024

Atmosphere Water

Temperature Extremes 2023
Article

Temperature Extremes 2023

Warmer-than-average temperatures are showing up locally and globally, with consequences for people, landscapes, and ecosystems.

Published Aug 15, 2023

Heat

North Atlantic Hurricane Season
Article

North Atlantic Hurricane Season

The 2023 season runs from June 1 to November 30, with peak activity generally occurring in September.

Published Jun 1, 2023

Atmosphere Remote Sensing

Fire Season in the Northern Hemisphere
Article

Fire Season in the Northern Hemisphere

Wildland fires in 2023 brought hazy skies and poor air quality to several countries north of the equator.

Published May 22, 2023

Atmosphere Land

Food and Agriculture
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Food and Agriculture

From soil conditions to crop productivity, satellite data help inform farmers, scientists, and decision-makers in the U.S. and around the world.

Published Feb 28, 2023

Land

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

Winter from the International Space Station
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Winter from the International Space Station

Over the years, astronauts aboard the orbiting laboratory have snapped spectacular photographs of Earth’s snow and ice in both hemispheres.

Published Dec 21, 2022

Snow and Ice

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