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.
Johns Hopkins University earth scientist Benjamin Zaitchik leads a team that is investigating whether seasonal weather conditions may influence the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is the largest estuary in the United States and third largest in the world. Once sculpted and changed by ice, water, and powerful geologic forces over tens of millions of years, today's Bay is shaped by human forces as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NASA satellites and sensors constantly take the pulse of our planet. Researchers apply those observations on local and regional scales to better manage things like food and water supplies, health, safety, land use, and ecosystems.
Snow and ice influence 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.