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.
These maps show the average amount of water vapor in a column of atmosphere by month. Water vapor is the key precursor for rain and snow and one of the most important greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Snow and ice influences climate by reflecting sunlight back into space. When it melts, snow is a source of water for drinking and vegetation; too much snowmelt can lead to floods. These maps show average snow cover by month.
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.
Carbon flows between the atmosphere, land, and ocean in a cycle that encompasses nearly all life and sets the thermostat for Earth's climate. By burning fossil fuels, people are changing the carbon cycle with far-reaching consequences.
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.
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.
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.
In honor of the Global Precipitation Measurement mission's fifth anniversary, we're highlighting some of our favorite and most unique Earth Observatory stories related to the satellite--from farmers trying to increase crop yields to researchers predicting the spread of fires.
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.
NASA Earth Observatory has existed for just one-fifth the time of Grand Canyon National Park, but over those 20 years, satellites and astronauts have captured some magnificent views of the park from above.
NASA scientist Doug Rowland travels with his team to Svalbard, Norway, for the VISIONS-2 sounding rocket campaign. The team will launch two suborbital rockets in order to understand how the aurora heats the atmosphere and “boils” oxygen off into space.