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.
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

The Perry Fire by Day and Night
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The Perry Fire by Day and Night

The fire was not the largest or most destructive in July 2018, but the position of its smoke allowed for a clear look at the progression of the burn.

Published Jul 30, 2018

Land Fires Human Presence Remote Sensing

County Fire Lights Up the Night
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County Fire Lights Up the Night

As smoke streamed toward San Francisco, more than 1,000 fire personnel were at the scene fighting the blaze.

Published Jul 4, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Fires Human Presence Remote Sensing

The Infrared Glow of Kilauea’s Lava Flows
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The Infrared Glow of Kilauea’s Lava Flows

This false-color image shows the infrared signal emitted by fresh lava flowing toward the sea.

Published May 26, 2018

Image of the Day Volcanoes Human Presence Remote Sensing

Fishing in Green, Living in Yellow
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Fishing in Green, Living in Yellow

Thailand and Cambodia have distinctly different hues at night compared to nearby seas.

Published May 14, 2018

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

Sun Sends an Early Earth Day Greeting
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Sun Sends an Early Earth Day Greeting

The Suomi NPP satellite captured a glimpse of the northern lights over North America.

Published Apr 24, 2018

Image of the Day Atmosphere Remote Sensing

Urban Patterns in Snow and Light
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Urban Patterns in Snow and Light

In central China, the human footprint brightens the night and dulls the snowscape.

Published Jan 16, 2018

Image of the Day Land Life Human Presence

New Year’s Night
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New Year’s Night

City lights shone brightly in the United States as revelers welcomed the new year.

Published Jan 2, 2018

Atmosphere Land Unique Imagery Human Presence

Observing Changes in Nighttime Lights
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Observing Changes in Nighttime Lights

Tracking the brightness and location of manmade lights offers researchers an innovative way to track human activity on a global scale.

Published Dec 27, 2017

Image of the Day Land Life Human Presence Remote Sensing

Fast-Moving Fire Sweeps Through Ventura County
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Fast-Moving Fire Sweeps Through Ventura County

Wildfires continue to menace Southern California.

Published Dec 8, 2017

Image of the Day Land Fires Human Presence Remote Sensing

Night Lights of the Levant
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Night Lights of the Levant

Alternating clusters of light and darkness show where civilization has carved out a place alongside and amidst the deserts.

Published Dec 11, 2017

Image of the Day

Wildfire Lights Up Ventura
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Wildfire Lights Up Ventura

Powerful Santa Ana winds fueled the destructive blaze.

Published Dec 5, 2017

Land Fires Human Presence

Pinpointing Where Lights Went Out in Puerto Rico
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Pinpointing Where Lights Went Out in Puerto Rico

Satellite data on city lights could aid rescue and recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria.

Published Sep 29, 2017

Image of the Day Severe Storms Human Presence Remote Sensing

Hurricane Irma Strengthens
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Hurricane Irma Strengthens

Growing to a category 5 storm, Hurricane Irma is among the strongest Atlantic hurricanes ever observed.

Published Sep 5, 2017

Atmosphere Land Water Severe Storms Human Presence

Franklin Storms Over Mexico
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Franklin Storms Over Mexico

The storm became the Atlantic Ocean basin’s first hurricane of 2017.

Published Aug 10, 2017

Atmosphere Severe Storms

Lights Out in Hatteras
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Lights Out in Hatteras

A power outage brought darkness to parts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Published Jul 31, 2017

Human Presence Remote Sensing

Fires Light Up Mount Vesuvius
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Fires Light Up Mount Vesuvius

Several fires that burned around the volcano took a toll on the forests of Vesuvius National Park.

Published Jul 16, 2017

Image of the Day Fires Remote Sensing

Wildfires Light Up Portugal
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Wildfires Light Up Portugal

The blaze burned so brightly that its light was visible at night from space.

Published Jun 20, 2017

Image of the Day Heat Fires Human Presence