Research Shows More People Living in Floodplains
Image of the Day Sep 27, 2021

Research Shows More People Living in Floodplains

The proportion of the world’s population exposed to floods grew by 20 to 24 percent—ten times greater than what previous models had predicted.
A Moving and Falling Target
Image

A Moving and Falling Target

Shadows accentuate the depth of the canyon that the Niagara River has carved over the past 12,000 years.

Published Sep 26, 2021

Image of the Day Water Human Presence

Cumbre Vieja Lights Up the Night
Image

Cumbre Vieja Lights Up the Night

An astronaut photograph shows the proximity of a volcanic eruption to nearby cities on the Spanish island of La Palma.

Published Sep 25, 2021

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

The Road to Vandenberg
Notes from the Field

The Road to Vandenberg

One of the CubeSats launching with Landsat 9 is the Cusp Plasma Imaging Detector (CuPID), which will image the boundary where Earth’s magnetic field interacts with the Sun’s.

Published Sep 24, 2021 in Notes From the Field

Land

Lake Powell Reaches New Low
Image

Lake Powell Reaches New Low

Water levels at Glen Canyon Dam have fallen to their lowest level since 1969 and are still dropping.

Published Sep 23, 2021

Image of the Day Water Drought

Landsat 9 to Further NASA’s Food Security Missions
Notes from the Field

Landsat 9 to Further NASA’s Food Security Missions

Landsat satellites have enabled numerous applications in diverse fields, including the monitoring of global agriculture and food security applications.

Published Sep 23, 2021 in Notes From the Field

Land

Arctic Sea Ice 12th-Lowest on Record
Image

Arctic Sea Ice 12th-Lowest on Record

Sea ice covered more area this summer compared to recent years, but it was also much thinner.

Published Sep 23, 2021

Image of the Day Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Coastal Color in New Zealand
Image

Coastal Color in New Zealand

Patchworks and swirls of color adorn the eastern coast of the South Island.

Published Sep 22, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water

Floods Along the White Nile
Image

Floods Along the White Nile

Seasonal rains along the White Nile and Blue Nile can cause widespread devastation when the rivers overflow.

Published Sep 20, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Floods 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

Sudbury Impact Structure
Image

Sudbury Impact Structure

Few craters are as large, or as old, as this impact structure in southeastern Ontario, Canada.

Published Sep 20, 2021

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Chlorophyll
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Jun 2021

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

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

Noirmoutier, France
Image

Noirmoutier, France

The small tidal island provides a bounty of oysters and salt.

Published Sep 19, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

Fire Encroaching on Giant Sequoias
Image

Fire Encroaching on Giant Sequoias

In the midst of another brutal fire season, several of California’s natural treasures have also been threatened.

Published Sep 16, 2021

Image of the Day Land Fires

Nicholas Soaks the Gulf Coast
Image

Nicholas Soaks the Gulf Coast

The slow-moving storm has been pulling in tropical moisture.

Published Sep 15, 2021

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Severe Storms Remote Sensing

A Fast-Moving Fire in Kgalagadi
Image

A Fast-Moving Fire in Kgalagadi

A grass fire in southwestern Botswana raced through the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in August.

Published Sep 15, 2021

Image of the Day Heat Land Fires Human Presence

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

Unusual Snowfall in Greenland
Image

Unusual Snowfall in Greenland

The remnants of Hurricane Larry dropped abundant snowfall on Greenland just as the summer melt season was coming to an end.

Published Sep 15, 2021

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Snow and Ice

Tournament Earth: The Landsat Games
Article

Tournament Earth: The Landsat Games

50 Years. 9 million scenes. One champion.

Published Sep 7, 2021

Land Water Human Presence Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

This Isn’t My First Rodeo
Notes from the Field

This Isn’t My First Rodeo

Engineer Andy Hynous is back in the saddle in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, where NASA’s Scientific Balloon Program is making flights for the fall 2021 balloon campaign.

Published Sep 2, 2021 in Notes From the Field

SeaHawk Mission Proves CubeSats are  Viable for Collecting Scientific Data
Earth Matters

SeaHawk Mission Proves CubeSats are Viable for Collecting Scientific Data

Scientists are pleased with the compelling images and data collected by a shoebox sized satellite.

Published Aug 31, 2021 in Earth Matters

Water

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

NASA Earth Observatory Goes to the Beach
Article

NASA Earth Observatory Goes to the Beach

Summer is beach season in the northern hemisphere. But even if you're a regular at your local swimming hole, you probably haven't seen too many beaches from this perspective. See the satellite and space-station views of various shorelines from across the United States. No sunblock necessary.

Published Jul 22, 2021

Land Videos

Net Radiation
Global Maps Jul 2006 — Jul 2020

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

Vegetation
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Jun 2021

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

Fire
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Jun 2021

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

A Celebration of Clouds: From Space, Earth Has an Elegant Atmosphere
Article

A Celebration of Clouds: From Space, Earth Has an Elegant Atmosphere

Clouds can be a nuisance when scientists are trying to observe features on Earth's surface. But at other times, clouds are exactly what they want to see. These images highlight some of the more unusual and beautiful clouds observed in recent years from space.

Published Jun 21, 2021

Atmosphere Remote Sensing

EO Explorer
Article

EO Explorer

Since 1999, Earth Observatory has published images and stories from all over our planet. Now you can explore more than 11,000 images in a different way: by location.

Published Jun 2, 2021

Land Water Remote Sensing

Sea Surface Temperature
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Apr 2021

Sea Surface Temperature

Ocean temperatures can influence weather, such as hurricane formation, and climate patterns, such as El Niño. These maps show the temperature at the surface of the world’s seas and oceans.

Heat Water

Earth — A Photo-Essay
Article

Earth — A Photo-Essay

NASA has a unique vantage point for observing the beauty and wonder of Earth and for making sense of it. The images in this book tell a story of a 4.5-billion-year-old planet where there is always something new to see.

Published Apr 28, 2021

Atmosphere Land Water Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Picturing Earth: Astronaut Photography In Focus
Article

Picturing Earth: Astronaut Photography In Focus

For 20 years, astronauts have been shooting photos of Earth from the space station. Like everything the astronauts do, they are trained for this job. And like everything they do, there is purpose and intention behind it.

Published Feb 8, 2021

Human Presence Remote Sensing Videos

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