India’s White Desert
Image of the Day Apr 17, 2021

India’s White Desert

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

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

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

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

Fire
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Feb 2021

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

Snow Cover
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Feb 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

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

Building Up the Yellow River Delta
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Building Up the Yellow River Delta

As sea level rises and the amount of sediment carried by the Yellow River declines, one of the world’s fastest changing deltas has seen rapid development.

Published Apr 6, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

Season of Change in the Labrador Sea
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Season of Change in the Labrador Sea

The high-latitude region displays a beautiful palette of textures as the atmosphere interacts with the ice and water.

Published Apr 5, 2021

Image of the Day Land Water Snow and Ice

A Thousand Islands in South Korea
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A Thousand Islands in South Korea

From expansive tidal flats to purple-painted towns, southwestern South Korea features unique ecosystems for salt production, wildlife, and tourists.

Published Apr 3, 2021

Image of the Day Land 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

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 — 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

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

Agricultural Monitoring Gets GLAMorized
Notes from the Field

Agricultural Monitoring Gets GLAMorized

The web-based platform for tracking crop conditions during the growing season is now faster and more flexible.

Published Mar 19, 2021 in Notes From the Field

Land

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

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

Total Rainfall
Global Maps Jan 1998 — Aug 2016

Total Rainfall

These maps depict monthly total rainfall around the world. Rainfall is the primary source of fresh water for humans, plants, and animals. Rain also moves heat between the atmosphere, oceans, and land.

Atmosphere

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

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

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

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

Vegetation
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Feb 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

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