A Summer of Fire-Breathing Smoke Storms
Image of the Day Jul 30, 2021

A Summer of Fire-Breathing Smoke Storms

For decades, scientists have been tracking extreme thunderstorms created by wildfires. However, the ferocity of the storms that have popped up in Canada in 2021 has surprised them.
A Long View of Sierra Snow
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A Long View of Sierra Snow

Those mountains have seen less snow accumulation in recent years, a decline that plays a role in water management and response to drought.

Published Jul 29, 2021

Image of the Day Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Heating Up in Tokyo
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Heating Up in Tokyo

Ever-warmer summers are among the challenges confronting athletes competing in the Olympic Games.

Published Jul 27, 2021

Image of the Day Heat Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Flooding in Central China
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Flooding in Central China

A slow-moving rainstorm overwhelmed rivers and reservoirs, leading to deadly flooding in the province of Henan.

Published Jul 26, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Floods Severe Storms Human Presence

Fire Island, Cabo Verde
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Fire Island, Cabo Verde

Fogo is part of an active stratovolcano with a turbulent history.

Published Jul 26, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water

Meandering to the Source
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Meandering to the Source

A modern term of geography was born in Turkey.

Published Jul 24, 2021

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Beauty in the Barents
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Beauty in the Barents

There are a few possible reasons why the phytoplankton-rich waters of this high-latitude sea appear both green and turquoise blue.

Published Jul 23, 2021

Image of the Day Life Water Water Color

Coastal North Queensland
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Coastal North Queensland

Tour the Australian state’s diverse landscapes and waterscapes.

Published Jul 22, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Videos

Smoke Across North America
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Smoke Across North America

Skies turned hazy from Pittsburgh to Washington to Boston, as smoke from fires in Canada poured into the U.S. Northeast.

Published Jul 21, 2021

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat Fires Human Presence Remote Sensing

Deadly Floods Surprise Europe
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Deadly Floods Surprise Europe

Flash floods have devastated several communities in Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands.

Published Jul 19, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Floods Severe Storms

Oregon Smothered with Smoke
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Oregon Smothered with Smoke

Hot, dry, and windy conditions continue to fan the flames of the largest fire currently burning in the United States.

Published Jul 19, 2021

Land Fires

Snow Cover
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Apr 2021

Snow Cover

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.

Snow and Ice

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

Seeing Orange in the Kalahari
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Seeing Orange in the Kalahari

Sand dunes, ancient rocks, a solar power plant, and the Orange River stand out in this photo from South Africa.

Published Jul 18, 2021

Image of the Day Land 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

Algae Abound Along Florida Coast
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Algae Abound Along Florida Coast

Tampa Bay is teeming with Karenia brevis months before it usually blooms.

Published Jul 17, 2021

Image of the Day Life Water Remote Sensing Water Color

July Puzzler
Earth Matters

July Puzzler

Your challenge is to use the comments section to tell us what we are looking at, where it is, and why it is interesting.

Published Jul 13, 2021 in Earth Matters

NASA Supports Drought Resilience in the American West
Earth Matters

NASA Supports Drought Resilience in the American West

Using satellites, aircraft, and computer models, NASA can aid farmers, reservoir managers, and decision makers as they monitor water needs.

Published Jul 13, 2021 in Earth Matters

Water Land

Vegetation
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Apr 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

Land Surface Temperature
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Apr 2021

Land Surface Temperature

Land surface temperatures rise and fall with the heat of the Sun, and they represent how hot or cold the surface would feel to touch. These maps show daytime land temperatures as measured from space.

Heat 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

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

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

Land Surface Temperature Anomaly
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Apr 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

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

Tournament Earth: Astronaut Photography
Article

Tournament Earth: Astronaut Photography

Click to see the 2021 champion.

Published Mar 8, 2021

Atmosphere Land Life Water Human Presence 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

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

Water Vapor
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Apr 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