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.
Nighttime Images Capture Change in China
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Nighttime Images Capture Change in China

Night lights not only speak to where we live, but how.

Published Mar 26, 2020

Image of the Day Land Life Dust and Haze Human Presence Remote Sensing

Canada Lit by Aurora and Moonlight
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Canada Lit by Aurora and Moonlight

The waxing gibbous Moon and the snow and ice on the mountains and lakes give the landscape extra visual definition.

Published Feb 5, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Unique Imagery Remote Sensing

Watching Meteors from Space
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Watching Meteors from Space

Astronaut Christina Koch snapped a picture of the Quadrantids in January 2020.

Published Jan 20, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere

ICONic Views of the Atmosphere
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ICONic Views of the Atmosphere

At the boundary between Earth and space, particles and gases and energy do an intricate and colorful dance that varies daily.

Published Jan 7, 2020

Image of the Day Remote Sensing

Cloud Streets Stream Over the Great Lakes
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Cloud Streets Stream Over the Great Lakes

A blast of cold air from Canada is fueling lake effect snow in several states.

Published Dec 10, 2019

Atmosphere Land Water Severe Storms Remote Sensing

Severe Winter Storm Hits the West Coast
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Severe Winter Storm Hits the West Coast

A winter storm brought flash flooding, heavy snow, and hurricane-force winds to the Pacific Northwest.

Published Nov 27, 2019

Image of the Day Atmosphere Unique Imagery Remote Sensing

Bushfires Still Raging in New South Wales
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Bushfires Still Raging in New South Wales

Fire managers warned of “the most dangerous bushfire week this nation has ever seen.”

Published Nov 11, 2019

Image of the Day Heat Land Drought Fires Human Presence Remote Sensing

Night Lights Can Disrupt Wildlife
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Night Lights Can Disrupt Wildlife

A new study shows that nocturnal animals are less active when the nights are too bright with electric lighting.

Published Oct 24, 2019

Image of the Day Land Life Human Presence Remote Sensing

Dorian Reaches South Carolina
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Dorian Reaches South Carolina

Power outages piled up in Charleston County as the storm raged just offshore.

Published Sep 5, 2019

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Severe Storms Human Presence Remote Sensing

Seasonal Fires are Burning in Angola
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Seasonal Fires are Burning in Angola

Fire season peaks every August in some parts of southern Africa.

Published Aug 30, 2019

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Fire Races Across Gran Canaria
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Fire Races Across Gran Canaria

The fire is tearing through pine forests in mountainous terrain on the second most populous of the Canary Islands.

Published Aug 20, 2019

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Nighttime Swirls
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Nighttime Swirls

A common cloud pattern, known as von Kármán vortices, makes an appearance at night.

Published Aug 19, 2019

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Remote Sensing

Lights Out after Cyclone Fani
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Lights Out after Cyclone Fani

The powerful storm, one of the worst to hit India since 1999, knocked out electricity across the state of Odisha.

Published May 8, 2019

Image of the Day Severe Storms Human Presence Remote Sensing

Mozambique Braces for Tropical Cyclone Kenneth
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Mozambique Braces for Tropical Cyclone Kenneth

Just five weeks after enduring the worst natural disaster in its recorded history, the African country is facing another serious storm threat.

Published Apr 24, 2019

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Severe Storms Human Presence Remote Sensing

Dazzling Spring Aurora over Hudson Bay
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Dazzling Spring Aurora over Hudson Bay

A stunning aurora appeared over Hudson Bay in March, historically the most geomagnetically active month.

Published Mar 29, 2019

Atmosphere Unique Imagery

Darkness in the Wake of Idai
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Darkness in the Wake of Idai

The powerful storm knocked out power across Mozambique's second-largest port city.

Published Mar 26, 2019

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Severe Storms Human Presence Remote Sensing

A Break in the Clouds for Europe
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A Break in the Clouds for Europe

Europe stands out in satellite imagery as being one of the cloudiest continents—but not this week.

Published Mar 2, 2019

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Human Presence

Night Lights Show Slow Recovery from Maria
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Night Lights Show Slow Recovery from Maria

The hurricane took a disproportionate toll on power supplies in remote areas of Puerto Rico.

Published Dec 12, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Severe Storms Human Presence

Bright Auroras Light Up the Sky and the Land
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Bright Auroras Light Up the Sky and the Land

Coronal holes sparked brilliant auroras over Alaska and Canada during this solar minimum.

Published Nov 21, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Galloway Forest Park
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Galloway Forest Park

Meteor showers and other celestial phenomenon are easily visible from this dark-sky park in Southern Scotland.

Published Nov 17, 2018

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

A Fire in the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean?
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A Fire in the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean?

High-energy particles from the South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly occasionally trick satellite sensors.

Published Oct 29, 2018

Image of the Day Heat Land Remote Sensing

It’s Valley Fog Season
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It’s Valley Fog Season

As cool air pours into valleys on chilly autumn nights, valley fog and dicey driving conditions can emerge.

Published Oct 26, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land

Earth Awash in Lights of the Night
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Earth Awash in Lights of the Night

City lights sprawl across Earth’s surface below a constant glow in the upper atmosphere.

Published Oct 23, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Hurricane Willa
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Hurricane Willa

A powerful, dangerous hurricane is poised to hit Mexico.

Published Oct 22, 2018

Atmosphere Water Severe Storms Human Presence

Lights Out in Michael’s Wake
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Lights Out in Michael’s Wake

The powerful storm knocked out power across the southeast U.S., as seen by a NOAA-NASA satellite.

Published Oct 16, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Severe Storms Human Presence

Hurricane Michael Reaches North Carolina
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Hurricane Michael Reaches North Carolina

Since making landfall, the storm has caused severe property damage and deaths in the southeastern United States, with more damage expected.

Published Oct 11, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Severe Storms Human Presence

An Outflow Boundary—Not a Jellyfish—Over Africa
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An Outflow Boundary—Not a Jellyfish—Over Africa

The peculiar curved shape of this cloud over Mali is the product of a phenomenon associated with thunderstorms.

Published Oct 6, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Super Typhoon Trami
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Super Typhoon Trami

The storm barreled across the Western Pacific basin, visible east of Taiwan in this nighttime image.

Published Sep 25, 2018

Atmosphere Severe Storms

August Auroras Light Up North American Skies
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August Auroras Light Up North American Skies

An unexpected aurora colored the skies of Canada and northern U.S. states.

Published Aug 30, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Remote Sensing

Lights of Java
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Lights of Java

The island of Java is the geographic and economic center of Indonesia.

Published Aug 26, 2018

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence