Surigae Stirs Up the Pacific
Image of the Day Apr 20, 2021

Surigae Stirs Up the Pacific

The super typhoon reached extreme intensity earlier in the year than any storm in the satellite era.
Sea Ice Highs and Lows
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Sea Ice Highs and Lows

There were no records set in 2020-21, but the downward trends in polar ice continue.

Published Apr 19, 2021

Image of the Day Water Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Winter is Long in Orenburg
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Winter is Long in Orenburg

Snow cover highlights the details of this railroad hub and city at the south end of the Ural Mountains.

Published Apr 18, 2021

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Snow and Ice

India’s White Desert
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India’s White Desert

The Rann of Kutch can appear drastically different depending on the time of year.

Published Apr 17, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water

Tracking La Soufrière’s Plume
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Tracking La Soufrière’s Plume

Explosive eruptions from the Caribbean volcano have flung ash and sulfate particles to the stratosphere.

Published Apr 15, 2021

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Volcanoes Remote Sensing

Tournament Earth 2021 Champion: Lake Van
Earth Matters

Tournament Earth 2021 Champion: Lake Van

A photo of one of the world's largest alkaline lakes handily won the crown.

Published Apr 15, 2021 in Earth Matters

A Fierce Fire Season in Nepal
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A Fierce Fire Season in Nepal

After an unusually dry winter, forest fires have raged throughout the mountainous country.

Published Apr 14, 2021

Image of the Day Land Dust and Haze Fires

Eruption at La Soufrière
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Eruption at La Soufrière

Explosive activity has propelled ash and gas high into the air over the Caribbean islands of Saint Vincent and Barbados.

Published Apr 12, 2021

Image of the Day Land Volcanoes

Seroja Slams Australia
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Seroja Slams Australia

The category three cyclone made a rare landfall in Western Australia, causing significant damage to coastal towns.

Published Apr 12, 2021

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Severe Storms Human Presence

Hiding in Plain Sight
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Hiding in Plain Sight

Springtime ocean conditions promote North Atlantic blooms, but you wouldn't know that from looking with human eyes.

Published Apr 12, 2021

Image of the Day Water Remote Sensing

Western Lake Trio
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Western Lake Trio

An astronaut captured this view of three basins—Tahoe, Walker, and Mono—straddling two different climates.

Published Apr 11, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water

Land Surface Temperature Anomaly
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Feb 2021

Land Surface Temperature Anomaly

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.

Heat Land

Venezuela’s Sandy Peninsula
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Venezuela’s Sandy Peninsula

The Paraguaná Peninsula is rich with sandy beaches and interesting topography.

Published Apr 10, 2021

Image of the Day Land

Preparing for Rising Seas in the Maldives
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Preparing for Rising Seas in the Maldives

A new artificial island near Malé could be a destination for people trying to escape rising waters on lower-lying islands.

Published Apr 9, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

Net Primary Productivity
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Nov 2016

Net Primary Productivity

These maps show the ‘metabolism” of Earth’s plants and trees. Net primary productivity is the difference between the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed during photosynthesis minus the amount released by respiration.

Land Life

Zambia’s Kafue Flats
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Zambia’s Kafue Flats

Annual floods play an important role in the floodplain’s ecosystem, even as the water’s highs and lows have been moderated in recent decades.

Published Apr 8, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water

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

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

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

Cloud Fraction
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Feb 2021

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

Water Vapor
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Feb 2021

Water Vapor

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.

Atmosphere

Pacaya Heats Up
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Pacaya Heats Up

Lava flows from the persistent Guatemalan volcano are approaching some nearby villages.

Published Apr 6, 2021

Image of the Day Heat Land Volcanoes Remote Sensing

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

Landsat: Continuing the Legacy
Earth Matters

Landsat: Continuing the Legacy

A new video series offers a look at the satellite program that changed how we look at Earth.

Published Apr 1, 2021 in Earth Matters

Land

Does COVID-19 Have Seasons? An Update with Ben Zaitchik
Earth Matters

Does COVID-19 Have Seasons? An Update with Ben Zaitchik

A new report explores whether seasonal weather conditions play a role in influencing the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Published Mar 22, 2021 in Earth Matters

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

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

Picturing Earth: Behind the Scenes
Article

Picturing Earth: Behind the Scenes

From their perch on the space station, astronauts have spent 20 years sharing a story about Earth as they see it from above. Like the directors of a film, those astronaut storytellers have a crew working behind the scenes to help them tell the story. Meet the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit.

Published Dec 1, 2020

Human Presence Remote Sensing Videos

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

Picturing Earth: Window On The World
Article

Picturing Earth: Window On The World

From their home on the International Space Station, astronauts have a view unlike anything most of us will ever see. Over 20 years, they have shot millions of photographs of Earth, and it is not just a hobby. It is an important scientific job, and one they need to be trained to do. Learn more about the challenges of watching Earth from above.

Published Nov 2, 2020

Human Presence Remote Sensing Videos

Could COVID-19 Have Seasons? Searching for Signals in Earth Data
Article

Could COVID-19 Have Seasons? Searching for Signals in Earth Data

A race is on to figure out whether COVID-19 will wax and wane with the seasons. Atmospheric and hydrologic models produced by NASA and other institutions may be key to that research.

Published Jul 14, 2020

Atmosphere Life Human Presence Remote Sensing

Of Mosquitoes and Models: Tracking Disease by Satellite
Article

Of Mosquitoes and Models: Tracking Disease by Satellite

A few decades ago, the idea of predicting a disease outbreak via satellite was science fiction. But today, researchers can use environmental data to predict when and where some diseases are likely to spread.

Published Jul 9, 2020

Life Human Presence Remote Sensing