Orce’s Archaeological Wonderland
Image of the Day May 20, 2024

Orce’s Archaeological Wonderland

Ancient hominin fossils lie beneath the sandy soils on the outskirts of this village in southern Spain.  
Farming on Fertile Land in France
Image

Farming on Fertile Land in France

Farmers grow a variety of crops along river floodplains near Lyon.

Published May 19, 2024

Image of the Day Human Presence

Montgomery Reef Revealed
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Montgomery Reef Revealed

Large tidal swings expose a plateau-shaped reef around Australia’s Yawajaba island at low tide.  

Published May 18, 2024

Image of the Day Land Water

Shasta Lake Fills Up Again
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Shasta Lake Fills Up Again

For the second year in a row, California’s largest reservoir filled to nearly 100 percent capacity.

Published May 17, 2024

Image of the Day Water

Historic Geomagnetic Storm Dazzles
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Historic Geomagnetic Storm Dazzles

Space scientists and sky-watchers were treated to a stunning display of the northern lights in May 2024.

Published May 16, 2024

Image of the Day Human Presence

Citizen Scientists Capture Brilliant Photos of the Aurora
Earth Matters

Citizen Scientists Capture Brilliant Photos of the Aurora

Participants in NASA's Aurorasaurus project captured these images during the May 2024 geomagnetic storm. 

Published May 15, 2024

Smoke and Fire in British Columbia
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Smoke and Fire in British Columbia

Unusually early and intense fires are spreading rapidly amid drought and high winds.

Published May 13, 2024

Image of the Day Fires Human Presence

Hurricanes Have Left Their Mark on Louisiana’s Wetlands
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Hurricanes Have Left Their Mark on Louisiana’s Wetlands

Scientists have been tracking how strong storms have eaten into the Gulf state’s coastline.

Published May 13, 2024

Image of the Day Land Water

Sundown and Lights Up Over the U.S. Northeast
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Sundown and Lights Up Over the U.S. Northeast

As sunlight waned, the glow of artificial light revealed patterns of urbanization along the populous corridor.

Published May 12, 2024

Image of the Day Human Presence

Water Levels Plunge in Philippine Reservoir
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Water Levels Plunge in Philippine Reservoir

Searing temperatures and little rain reduced water levels of Pantabangan Lake, one of the country’s largest reservoirs.

Published May 11, 2024

Image of the Day Land Water

Cloud Fraction
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Jan 2024

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

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

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

Aerosol Optical Depth
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Jan 2024

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

One of the Largest Batteries in the World
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One of the Largest Batteries in the World

Michigan’s Ludington Pumped Storage Plant uses excess electricity to pump water uphill, which generates power when it flows back down.

Published May 10, 2024

Image of the Day Water

Floods Engulf Porto Alegre
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Floods Engulf Porto Alegre

Torrential rains have unleashed widespread and destructive flooding in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state.

Published May 8, 2024

Image of the Day Water Floods

Complex Beauty in the Gulf of Oman
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Complex Beauty in the Gulf of Oman

NASA’s newest Earth science satellite captured a striking image of swirling bands of phytoplankton.

Published May 7, 2024

Image of the Day Water Water Color

Sierra Snowpack Springs Back
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Sierra Snowpack Springs Back

A May storm dumped over two feet of snow in one day on parts of the California mountain range.

Published May 6, 2024

Image of the Day Severe Storms Snow and Ice Temperature Extremes

Net Radiation
Global Maps Jul 2006 — Jan 2024

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

Springtime in the Deciduous Forest
Notes from the Field

Springtime in the Deciduous Forest

Using instruments old and new, scientists collected data as leaves emerged across a deciduous forest in Edgewater, Maryland.

Published May 6, 2024

Land Surface Temperature
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Jan 2024

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

Total Rainfall
Global Maps Jun 2000 — Feb 2024

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

April Puzzler
Earth Matters

April Puzzler

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

Published Apr 23, 2024

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

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

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
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

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

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

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

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

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