New Lows for Great Lakes Ice Cover
Image of the Day Mar 1, 2024

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.
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

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

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

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

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

Vegetation
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Aug 2023

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

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

Dynamic Dauphin Island
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Dynamic Dauphin Island

The barrier island that protects the mouth of Mobile Bay has a history of shifting and merging with nearby islands.

Published Feb 19, 2024

Image of the Day Land Water

Evening Glow in the Junggar Basin
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Evening Glow in the Junggar Basin

The setting Sun illuminates the western faces of sand dunes across this low-lying basin in northwestern China.

Published Feb 18, 2024

Image of the Day Land

Escaping Home
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Escaping Home

Harriet Tubman preferred to navigate the woods and waterways of Maryland’s Eastern Shore on winter nights when guiding enslaved people north on the Underground Railroad.  

Published Feb 17, 2024

Image of the Day Land Life Human Presence

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

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

Aerosol Size
Global Maps Jan 2005 — Sep 2016

Aerosol Size

Sea salt, volcanic ash, dust, wildfire smoke, and industrial pollution are types of airborne aerosols. Natural aerosols tend to be larger than human-made aerosols. These maps show when and where aerosols come from nature, humans, or both.

Atmosphere

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

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

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

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

Land Surface Temperature Anomaly
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Sep 2023

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

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

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

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

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

Fire
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Aug 2023

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

Food and Agriculture
Article

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

Winter from the International Space Station
Article

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

Chlorophyll
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Aug 2023

Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is used by algae and other phytoplankton--the grass of the sea--to convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into sugars. These maps show chlorophyll concentrations in the ocean, revealing where phytoplankton are thriving.

Life Water