Some features of this site are not compatible with your browser. Install Opera Mini to better experience this site.

Clear Skies Over Alaska
Downpours Flood Southeast Texas
The Long Bridge to “Silk City”
Drought Reveals Lost “Spanish Stonehenge”
Image of the Day Sep 22, 2019

Clear Skies Over Alaska

Views of mainland Alaska from the ISS are uncommon due to frequent cloud cover and the limits of the ISS orbit trajectory.

Smoke Blankets Borneo
Image

Smoke Blankets Borneo

Fires burning in peat deposits in Indonesia release gases and particles that have consequences for public health and the climate.

Published Sep 17, 2019

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat Land Dust and Haze Fires Human Presence Remote Sensing

Cleaning Up Our Air
EO Kids

Cleaning Up Our Air

Take a breath of fresh air. Learn how the air we breathe has become cleaner in the latest issue of EO Kids, Cleaning Up Our Air

Published Sep 17, 2019 in EO Kids

Atmosphere Human Presence

Final Preparations
Notes from the Field

Final Preparations

Scientists make final preparations for field work aboard an icebreaker, which will be locked in the Arctic sea ice for one year.

Published Sep 17, 2019 in Notes From the Field

Cameron Ridge
Image

Cameron Ridge

Get a close-up look at enormous wind turbines along this short segment of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Published Sep 13, 2019

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Drought Exacerbates Australian Fires
Image

Drought Exacerbates Australian Fires

Several years of dry conditions have set the stage for a fierce fire season in several southeastern states.

Published Sep 13, 2019

Image of the Day Heat Drought Fires

A Bloom of Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria
Image

A Bloom of Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria

An important player in the nitrogen cycle, Trichodesmium makes a seasonal appearance off the northeast coast of Australia.

Published Sep 13, 2019

Image of the Day Life Water Remote Sensing

Fire
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Jun 2019

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

South Pacific Swirl
Image

South Pacific Swirl

Low Sun angles enhance certain wavelengths of light, painting the atmosphere over a distant patch of ocean.

Published Sep 12, 2019

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Marine Heat Wave Returns to the Northeast Pacific
Image

Marine Heat Wave Returns to the Northeast Pacific

The warm surface water this summer was caused by an unusual and persistent weather pattern.

Published Sep 12, 2019

Image of the Day Heat Life Water 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

Floods Swamp Sudan
Image

Floods Swamp Sudan

After a wet August, floodwaters inundated villages, pastures, and croplands.

Published Sep 11, 2019

Image of the Day Floods Remote Sensing

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 Oct 5, 2000

Land Life

In the Wake of Hurricane Dorian
Image

In the Wake of Hurricane Dorian

The storm left a path of destruction from the Caribbean to the Canadian Maritimes.

Published Sep 9, 2019

Image of the Day Water Severe Storms Remote Sensing

Circling the Serengeti
Image

Circling the Serengeti

These African plains host the largest natural animal migration in the world.

Published Sep 6, 2019

Image of the Day Land

Typhoon Lingling Heads Towards the Koreas
Image

Typhoon Lingling Heads Towards the Koreas

Typhoon Lingling is the thirteenth tropical cyclone in the North Pacific this year.

Published Sep 6, 2019

Image of the Day Severe Storms 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

Punta Banda, Baja California
Image

Punta Banda, Baja California

Fishing is an integral part of the economy for this region, which also attracts whales and tourists.

Published Sep 6, 2019

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

Malaspina on the Move
Image

Malaspina on the Move

More than 30 years of ice velocity data are helping scientists tease out how mountain glaciers respond to climate change.

Published Sep 6, 2019

Image of the Day Heat Land Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Aerosol Optical Depth
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Jun 2019

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

Dorian Reaches South Carolina
Image

Dorian Reaches South Carolina

Power outages piled up in Charleston County as the storm raged just offshore.

Published Sep 5, 2019

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Severe Storms Human Presence Remote Sensing

Waiting for Balloon Weather
Notes from the Field

Waiting for Balloon Weather

Daily weather briefings give rhythm to otherwise irregular days filled with launch attempts and instrument tests.

Published Sep 5, 2019 in Notes From the Field

Turbulent Tropical Skies
Image

Turbulent Tropical Skies

In early September 2019, a loose chain of tropical cyclones lined up across the Western Hemisphere.

Published Sep 4, 2019

Atmosphere Water Severe Storms

A Devastating Stall by Hurricane Dorian
Image

A Devastating Stall by Hurricane Dorian

A remarkable slowdown led to a prolonged lashing from winds, waves, and rain that devastated Grand Bahama Island.

Published Sep 4, 2019

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Severe Storms Human Presence Remote Sensing

Hurricane Dorian Nears U.S. Southeast
Image

Hurricane Dorian Nears U.S. Southeast

After slamming the Bahamas, the storm will approach Florida first in the coming days.

Published Sep 3, 2019

Severe Storms Remote Sensing

Hurricane Dorian Pounds the Bahamas
Image

Hurricane Dorian Pounds the Bahamas

The powerful hurricane is believed to be the strongest on record to hit the northwestern Bahamas.

Published Sep 1, 2019

Severe Storms Remote Sensing

Dorian Moves Over Storm-Fueling Waters
Image

Dorian Moves Over Storm-Fueling Waters

Heading into Labor Day weekend, citizens and government officials braced for a potent hurricane that has been intensifying in the tropical Atlantic Ocean.

Published Aug 30, 2019

Image of the Day Severe Storms Remote Sensing

Mount Rainier
Image

Mount Rainier

The tallest mountain of the Cascade Range is a Pacific Northwest icon.

Published Aug 30, 2019

Image of the Day Land Snow and Ice

Rising Global Temperatures Influence California’s Fire Season
Image

Rising Global Temperatures Influence California’s Fire Season

A recent study shows that the state has experienced a fivefold increase in annual burned area since 1972.

Published Aug 30, 2019

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Laboring in Pullman
Image

Laboring in Pullman

The Chicago neighborhood was the epicenter of a railroad strike that played a key role in the establishment of Labor Day as a federal holiday.

Published Aug 30, 2019

Image of the Day Human Presence

The Smoke that Thunders
Image

The Smoke that Thunders

Although not the highest or longest falls in the world, Victoria Falls is the world’s largest sheet of falling water.

Published Aug 29, 2019

Image of the Day Land

Hurricane Dorian in the Tropical Atlantic
Image

Hurricane Dorian in the Tropical Atlantic

After brushing past Puerto Rico, the storm began intensifying over open waters.

Published Aug 29, 2019

Atmosphere Water Severe Storms Human Presence Remote Sensing

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

Seasonal Fires are Burning in Angola
Image

Seasonal Fires are Burning in Angola

Fire season peaks every August in some parts of southern Africa.

Published Aug 29, 2019

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Nearing the Limit of Retreat
Image

Nearing the Limit of Retreat

One branch of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier seems to have retreated as far as it can, while the other still has some distance to go.

Published Aug 28, 2019

Image of the Day Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Final Field Days in Batamay, Northeast Siberia
Notes from the Field

Final Field Days in Batamay, Northeast Siberia

A data shortage in the large swaths of larch forests in Northeast Siberia is a prime reason why we wanted to come here.

Published Aug 27, 2019 in Notes From the Field

Heat

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

Cloud Fraction
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Jun 2019

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

Please Keep Your Arms, Legs, and Cryogens Inside the Gondola at All Times
Notes from the Field

Please Keep Your Arms, Legs, and Cryogens Inside the Gondola at All Times

The BOBCAT mission is testing a cool, new type of cryogenic liquid containment system for balloon-borne telescopes.

Published Aug 23, 2019 in Notes From the Field

Trailing the Pacific Crest from Space
Article

Trailing the Pacific Crest from Space

There is no award for completing the hike from Mexico to Canada through the western United States. But it is clear from the ground and space that the journey through 48 wilderness areas and demanding terrain will change you.

Published Aug 1, 2019

Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

EO On This Day
Article

EO On This Day

In honor of our 20th anniversary, we offer a selection of some of the most beautiful, newsworthy, interesting, and scientifically important images from the past 20 years — one for each day of the calendar year.

Published Jun 19, 2019

Atmosphere Heat Land Life Water Snow and Ice

Earth: A Photo e-Book from NASA
Article

Earth: A Photo e-Book from NASA

Swirling white clouds, deep blue oceans, and multicolored landscapes come to life on the pages of NASA’s new photo essay Earth, a collection of dramatic images captured by satellites.

Published Jun 4, 2019

Atmosphere Land Water Snow and Ice Videos

Water Vapor
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Jun 2019

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

20 Years of NASA Earth Observatory
Article

20 Years of NASA Earth Observatory

Our world is constantly changing. We have evolved with it.

Published May 7, 2019

Videos

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

The Wide View of a Shrinking Glacier: Retreat at Pine Island
Article

The Wide View of a Shrinking Glacier: Retreat at Pine Island

Pine Island Glacier is one of the fastest-retreating glaciers in Antarctica. This timeline highlights the most notable calving events of the past two decades.

Published Apr 9, 2019

Snow and Ice Remote Sensing