The Black Fire Blows Up in New Mexico
Image of the Day May 24, 2022

The Black Fire Blows Up in New Mexico

The intensity and speed of the Black fire grew quickly, producing a pyrocumulonimbus cloud and crossing the Continental Divide, to become the second-largest fire in the state.
Grand Canyon of Texas
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Grand Canyon of Texas

Palo Duro and Caprock Canyons provide insight into Texas geologic and human history.

Published May 23, 2022

Image of the Day Land

Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park
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Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park

The park’s semi-arid climate and volcanic features contribute to the peculiar landscape along southeastern Spain’s Mediterranean coastline.

Published May 21, 2022

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Traces of an Ancient Watery World in Capitol Reef
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Traces of an Ancient Watery World in Capitol Reef

In the Utah desert, the red rocks, cliffs, and canyons of this nautically named national park—and many of its famous fossils—owe their existence to water.

Published May 20, 2022

Image of the Day Land

Spotting Severe Storms with Satellites
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Spotting Severe Storms with Satellites

Overshooting tops and above-anvil cirrus plumes are clues that an especially destructive thunderstorm is brewing below.  

Published May 19, 2022

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Persistent Dust Storms Batter Iraq
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Persistent Dust Storms Batter Iraq

At least eight major events have darkened skies and sickened people in the past six weeks.

Published May 17, 2022

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Dust and Haze

Submarine Eruption of Kavachi Volcano
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Submarine Eruption of Kavachi Volcano

Kavachi Volcano in the Southwest Pacific Solomon Islands—where hammerhead sharks prowl—has entered an active phase of eruption.

Published May 17, 2022

Image of the Day Water

Maui’s Iconic Waves
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Maui’s Iconic Waves

When large waves break in Māʻalaea Bay, they do so with the crushing speed of a freight train.

Published May 16, 2022

Image of the Day Water

San Pedro and Ambergris Cay
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San Pedro and Ambergris Cay

Mangroves and the world’s second longest barrier reef system are among the natural gems around Belize’s largest island.

Published May 15, 2022

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

Earth at Night
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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

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

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

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

New Mexico Wildfire Spawns Fire Cloud
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New Mexico Wildfire Spawns Fire Cloud

A massive, early season wildfire that continues to burn in northern New Mexico generated a pyrocumulonimbus cloud.

Published May 14, 2022

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat

Scientists Show How Forests Measure Up
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Scientists Show How Forests Measure Up

A new map shows the height of Earth’s forests, from stubby saplings to timbers towering more than 50 meters tall, across the entire land surface.

Published May 13, 2022

Image of the Day Land Remote Sensing

Red River Flooding is Worst in a Decade
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Red River Flooding is Worst in a Decade

A blizzard, multiple rainstorms, and melting winter ice swelled rivers out of their banks and across a flat floodplain in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Manitoba.

Published May 11, 2022

Image of the Day Land Water Floods Human Presence

Kīlauea’s Lava Lake Persists
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Kīlauea’s Lava Lake Persists

Since May 2018, when Kīlauea’s lava lake last drained, the summit crater has filled with water, erupted again, boiled off the water, and refilled with lava.

Published May 11, 2022

Image of the Day Heat Land

EO On This Day
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EO On This Day

In honor of our site anniversary, we offer a selection of some of the most beautiful, newsworthy, interesting, and scientifically important images from 23 years online — one image for each day of the calendar year.

Published Apr 26, 2022

Atmosphere Heat Land Life Water Snow and Ice

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

World of Change
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World of Change

NASA satellites document how our world—forests, oceans, human landscapes, even the Sun—changes over months, seasons, and years.

Published Apr 29, 2009

Atmosphere Heat Land Life Human Presence Snow and Ice

Tournament Earth: Elemental Edition—Finals
Article

Tournament Earth: Elemental Edition—Finals

For the third time in a decade, the winner hails from the Canary Islands.

Published Mar 1, 2022

Human Presence Remote Sensing

Aerosol Optical Depth
Global Maps Mar 2000 — Mar 2022

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

Net Radiation
Global Maps Jul 2006 — Mar 2022

Net Radiation

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.

Heat

Falling for the Colors
Article

Falling for the Colors

As green chlorophyll fades from trees and plants each autumn, other pigments color the Earth’s landscapes. Satellites take leaf-peeping to a whole new level.

Published Oct 26, 2021

Land Life

Aerosol Size
Global Maps Jan 2005 — Sep 2016

Aerosol Size

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.

Atmosphere

NASA Earth Observatory Goes to the Beach
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NASA Earth Observatory Goes to the Beach

Summer is beach season in the northern hemisphere. But even if you're a regular at your local swimming hole, you probably haven't seen too many beaches from this perspective. See the satellite and space-station views of various shorelines from across the United States. No sunblock necessary.

Published Jul 22, 2021

Land Videos

Land Surface Temperature Anomaly
Global Maps Feb 2000 — Mar 2022

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

A Celebration of Clouds: From Space, Earth Has an Elegant Atmosphere
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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

Mission: Biomes
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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

EO Explorer
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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