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Ice Arch Persists Despite Warm Arctic
Astronauts Launch from American Soil
Haiti’s Accidental City
Lake Skadar, Montenegro and Albania
Image of the Day Jun 3, 2020

Ice Arch Persists Despite Warm Arctic

This natural gatekeeper, which prevents sea ice from exiting the Arctic Ocean and drifting southward into Baffin Bay, was still intact in late May 2020.

Ice Arch Persists Despite Warm Arctic
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Ice Arch Persists Despite Warm Arctic

This natural gatekeeper, which prevents sea ice from exiting the Arctic Ocean and drifting southward into Baffin Bay, was still intact in late May 2020.

Published Jun 2, 2020

Image of the Day Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Astronauts Launch from American Soil
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Astronauts Launch from American Soil

A commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft has safely delivered two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.

Published Jun 1, 2020

Image of the Day Human Presence

Haiti’s Accidental City
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Haiti’s Accidental City

After a catastrophic earthquake left Port-au-Prince in shambles, many people flocked to the new city of Canaan in search of a better life.

Published May 29, 2020

Image of the Day Human Presence

Sandy Shores of Moreton Bay
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Sandy Shores of Moreton Bay

Once an important port during World War II, the bay is comprised of a complex delta system that makes it a very scenic and popular tourist destination in Australia.

Published May 29, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

A May Landslide in Alaska
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A May Landslide in Alaska

Warm spring weather may have helped trigger a landslide on Yudi Peak.

Published May 28, 2020

Image of the Day Land Snow and Ice

Lake Skadar, Montenegro and Albania
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Lake Skadar, Montenegro and Albania

The largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula is colored by sediments eroded from the surrounding highlands.

Published May 28, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water

Cloud Building Over Hainan
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Cloud Building Over Hainan

The clouds that frequently produce severe weather—cumulonimbus—are seen building up during the afternoon over the South China Sea.

Published May 27, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land

In a Desert Not So Far Away
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In a Desert Not So Far Away

Many memorable Star Wars scenes were filmed in the deserts of Tunisia.

Published May 22, 2020

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Nitrogen Dioxide Levels Rebound in China
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Nitrogen Dioxide Levels Rebound in China

With most lockdowns ending and economic activity resuming, levels of the air pollutant have returned to near normal for this time of year.

Published May 22, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Life Dust and Haze Human Presence 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

A Falcon over Ajim
Image

A Falcon over Ajim

Iconic scenes from the original Star Wars movie were filmed in a Tunisian fishing town.

Published May 22, 2020

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Budapest at Night
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Budapest at Night

Divided by the Danube River, the city is actually a unification of three different older communities.

Published May 22, 2020

Image of the Day Human Presence

Muddy Flooding in Michigan
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Muddy Flooding in Michigan

Two days of heavy rain led to catastrophic dam failures and major flooding in Midland County.

Published May 21, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Floods Human Presence

Mapping Snow on Arctic Sea Ice
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Mapping Snow on Arctic Sea Ice

First-of-a-kind maps show how the depth of this insulating snow layer changes from month to month.

Published May 21, 2020

Image of the Day Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

We Go North
Notes from the Field

We Go North

After 18 days in quarantine and multiple tests for coronavirus, leg 4 participants in the MOSAiC expedition head north to meet the RV Polarstern.

Published May 21, 2020 in Notes From the Field

Amphan Batters India, Bangladesh
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Amphan Batters India, Bangladesh

The first tropical cyclone of the 2020 season in the North Indian basin made landfall, delivering substantial storm surge to coastal areas.

Published May 20, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Severe Storms

Deforestation in Argentina’s Gran Chaco
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Deforestation in Argentina’s Gran Chaco

South America’s second-largest forest has been experiencing rapid tree losses in recent decades.

Published May 19, 2020

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

May Puzzler
Earth Matters

May Puzzler

Recognize this place? 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 May 19, 2020 in Earth Matters

Satellites Show a Decline in Fire in the U.S. Southeast
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Satellites Show a Decline in Fire in the U.S. Southeast

Among the byproducts of the pandemic and social distancing is a drop in forest management fires on federal lands.

Published May 18, 2020

Image of the Day Land Dust and Haze Remote Sensing

Mount St. Helens
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Mount St. Helens

In May 1980, a satellite watched the mountain violently erupt; satellites over the next forty years watched it recover.

Published May 15, 2020

Image of the Day Land

The Ozone Hole: We Need More Sunscreen
EO Kids

The Ozone Hole: We Need More Sunscreen

EO Kids is discovering more about Earth’s ozone layer and about what happens when it gets damaged. Plus, create your own ozone hole map in our “Data Viz” activity: “Mapping Ozone.”

Published May 15, 2020 in EO Kids

Human Presence Remote Sensing Atmosphere

Popcorn Clouds over Rio de Janeiro
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Popcorn Clouds over Rio de Janeiro

Clouds formed over rural areas and the cities but are noticeably absent above Guanabara Bay and the ocean due to the mechanisms of cloud formation.

Published May 15, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water

Carbon Monoxide
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Feb 2017

Carbon Monoxide

When fuels such as coal, wood, and oil burn incompletely, they produce carbon monoxide. The gas is spread by winds and circulation. These maps show monthly averages of CO in the lower atmosphere.

Atmosphere

Nighttime Waves Over the South Atlantic
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Nighttime Waves Over the South Atlantic

A layer of marine stratocumulus clouds off the west coast of Africa displayed some particularly complex wave patterns.

Published May 14, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Remote Sensing

Vongfong Makes Landfall in the Philippines
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Vongfong Makes Landfall in the Philippines

The first typhoon of the year in the Western Pacific was later than usual and quite potent.

Published May 14, 2020

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Severe Storms Human Presence

Denman Glacier Losing Some of Its Footing
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Denman Glacier Losing Some of Its Footing

Scientists are concerned about the stability of a glacier that could significantly raise sea level.

Published May 12, 2020

Image of the Day Heat Land Water Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

Flooding in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan
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Flooding in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan

Water has stopped pouring from the broken wall of the Sardoba Reservoir, but many areas are still submerged.

Published May 11, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water

Patagonian Dust Streamers
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Patagonian Dust Streamers

Dust storms are common in the region, and sometimes bear resemblance to weather events on Mars.

Published May 8, 2020

Image of the Day Land

Still Sandy After All These Years
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Still Sandy After All These Years

In 2002, Earth Observatory published one of the site’s most popular images: the Great Bahama Bank. Eighteen years later, the science has advanced but the sand has not.

Published May 8, 2020

Image of the Day Water

Perma-Blooms off Mauritania
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Perma-Blooms off Mauritania

In a bay off the coast of northwest Africa, conditions are almost always just right for phytoplankton blooms.

Published May 8, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water

Dam Failure in Uzbekistan
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Dam Failure in Uzbekistan

A collapse of the Sardoba Reservoir’s earth-filled dam led to flooding that extended into Kazakhstan.

Published May 8, 2020

Land Water Remote Sensing

A New Lake—Water Not Lava—On Kilauea
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A New Lake—Water Not Lava—On Kilauea

After its lava lake drained and the floor dropped, water has been pooling up in the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u crater for several months.

Published May 8, 2020

Image of the Day Land Water Volcanoes

Smoke Over Lake Maracaibo
Earth Matters

Smoke Over Lake Maracaibo

Just as we were finishing another story about fires in Venezuela, a surprisingly large, dark smoke plume appeared in VIIRS and MODIS imagery.

Published May 8, 2020 in Earth Matters

Heat Atmosphere

Vegetation
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Apr 2020

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 Anomaly
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Apr 2020

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 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

New Zealand Browned by Drought
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New Zealand Browned by Drought

North Island vegetation shows signs of stress during one the region’s most severe droughts on record.

Published May 7, 2020

Image of the Day Land Drought Remote Sensing

Saving Straddie’s Sand
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Saving Straddie’s Sand

After seven decades, sand mining operations have stopped in Australia’s North Stradbroke Island.

Published May 6, 2020

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Departure
Notes from the Field

Departure

Sea ice geophysicist Melinda Webster was ready to fly to the RV Polarstern for the MOSAiC expedition. Then COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

Published May 6, 2020 in Notes From the Field

The Race to Understand the Science of Coronavirus
Earth Matters

The Race to Understand the Science of Coronavirus

As several comprehensive NASA-funded research projects get started, here is a quick roundup of some of the more interesting satellite-related findings about the science of coronavirus and its effects on the environment.

Published May 5, 2020 in Earth Matters

Antarctic Iceberg Breaks and Makes a New Berg
Earth Matters

Antarctic Iceberg Breaks and Makes a New Berg

The colossal iceberg from Antarctica’s Larsen-C Ice Shelf finally fractured in April 2020, generating a new 51-square-nm iceberg.

Published May 4, 2020 in Earth Matters

Snow and Ice

A Clearer View of Hazy Skies
Article

A Clearer View of Hazy Skies

Industrialization has brought incredible societal advances and difficult pollution problems. From space, we can see skies clearing in some regions and darkening in others. The thin blue line of our atmosphere is still quite vulnerable.

Published Jun 24, 2014

Atmosphere Human Presence Remote Sensing

Applied Sciences Collection
Article

Applied Sciences Collection

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.

Published May 1, 2020

Human Presence Remote Sensing

Tournament Earth - Best of EO
Article

Tournament Earth - Best of EO

After five rounds and 56,000 votes, the readers have chosen their favorite. We have a Tournament Earth 2020 champion.

Published Apr 28, 2020

Human Presence Remote Sensing

Choose Your Champion: Tournament Earth 2020
Article

Choose Your Champion: Tournament Earth 2020

Vote for your favorite all-time Earth Observatory image. Help narrow the field from 32 nominees down to one champion in a five-round tournament.

Published Mar 26, 2020

Atmosphere Land Life Water Snow and Ice Remote Sensing Videos

Chlorophyll
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Mar 2020

Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is used by algae and other phytoplankton--the grass of the sea--to convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into sugars. These maps show chlorophyll concentrations in the ocean, revealing where phytoplankton are thriving.

Life Water

Retreat at Pine Island Glacier
Article

Retreat at Pine Island Glacier

Pine Island Glacier is one of the fastest-retreating glaciers in Antarctica. Watch the glacier’s ice front as it retreats and sheds some notable icebergs over the past two decades.

Published Feb 13, 2020

Snow and Ice Remote Sensing Videos

World of Change: Global Temperatures
Article

World of Change: Global Temperatures

The average global temperature has increased by a little more than 1° Celsius (2° Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975.

Published Jan 29, 2020

Atmosphere Heat Land Water Human Presence World of Change

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

Water Vapor
Global Maps Jul 2002 — Apr 2020

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

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