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EO On This Day

Since its creation in late April 1999, NASA Earth Observatory has published more than 15,000 image-driven stories about our planet: natural- and false-color satellite images, data maps, and aerial or space-based photos. 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. Check this page each day for a new blast from EO’s past.

Arctic Amplification

Arctic Amplification

Published May 26, 2013

Temperatures are warming faster in the Arctic than anywhere else in the world. Here’s why.

Explore Other Days in EO History

Nighttime Ash Tracking with CALIPSO
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Nighttime Ash Tracking with CALIPSO

A satellite records a vertical profile of the atmosphere and reveals the altitude of ash clouds.

Published May 25, 2010

Image of the Day Atmosphere Volcanoes

New Landsat Finds Clouds Hiding in Plain Sight
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New Landsat Finds Clouds Hiding in Plain Sight

One of LDCM’s sensors can detect faint cirrus clouds that can slightly alter a scene.

Published May 24, 2013

Image of the Day Atmosphere Drought Unique Imagery World of Change

Pavlof Volcano, Alaska Peninsula
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Pavlof Volcano, Alaska Peninsula

Three striking photographs of Pavlof Volcano reveal the three-dimensional structure of the eruption plume.

Published May 23, 2013

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Volcanoes

Irrawaddy Delta, Burma
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Irrawaddy Delta, Burma

The clearing of the natural mangrove forests has left low-lying cropland and villages exposed to the sea.

Published May 22, 2008

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Lake Powell and The Rincon, Utah
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Lake Powell and The Rincon, Utah

Man and nature have both altered the course of a southwestern U.S. river.

Published May 21, 2012

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Driving Ban Lowers Beijing Pollution
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Driving Ban Lowers Beijing Pollution

In an effort to control smog during the 2008 Olympics, Beijing officials instituted a number of pollution-curbing measures.

Published May 20, 2007

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Oil Slick in the Gulf of Mexico
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Oil Slick in the Gulf of Mexico

Acquired May 17, 2010, this natural-color image shows the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico extending a long arm toward the southeast.

Published May 19, 2010

Image of the Day Water Human Presence

30th Anniversary of the Eruption of Mt. St. Helens
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30th Anniversary of the Eruption of Mt. St. Helens

A trio of images documents the devastation and recovery of the landscape around Mt. St. Helens Volcano following its cataclysmic 1980 eruption.

Published May 18, 2010

Image of the Day Land Life

Changes to the Saemangeum Estuary, South Korea
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Changes to the Saemangeum Estuary, South Korea

Satellite imagery illustrates the beginning of a land reclamation project that will transform one of the largest tidal estuaries along the Yellow Sea into farmland and a fresh-water reservoir.

Published May 17, 2007

Image of the Day Land Life Water

Come Fly with Me
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Come Fly with Me

Fifty-six images were stitched together to present a seamless mosaic of what the newest Landsat saw on April 19, 2013. Here are some highlights of the satellite tour.

Published May 16, 2013

Image of the Day Land Water Unique Imagery Human Presence

El Gezira, Sudan
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El Gezira, Sudan

South of Khartoum, where the White and Blue Nile Rivers join, a dizzying arrangement of irrigated fields stretches out across the land.

Published May 15, 2008

Image of the Day Land Life

Ship Tracks in the Sky
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Ship Tracks in the Sky

In recent years, scientists have turned their attention to the ways in which human-produced aerosol pollution modifies clouds.

Published May 14, 2002

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water

Lake Powell, Utah
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Lake Powell, Utah

In the early twenty-first century, Lake Powell faced the combined threats of drought and rapid water withdrawals.

Published May 13, 2009

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Crop Circles in the Desert
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Crop Circles in the Desert

Over the course of 25 years, farms have sprouted in the Arabian Desert, fueled by deep and old groundwater.

Published May 12, 2012

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Los Alamos Fires From Landsat 7
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Los Alamos Fires From Landsat 7

On May 9, 2000, the Landsat 7 satellite acquired an image of the area around Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Published May 11, 2000

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Ice Melting on Lake Baikal
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Ice Melting on Lake Baikal

People and satellites keep an eye on when ice on the world’s deepest lake melts each year.

Published May 10, 2012

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

A Rare Cyclone on the Equator
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A Rare Cyclone on the Equator

Storms like Typhoon Varmei are not supposed to happen.

Published May 9, 2003

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Cloudy Earth
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Cloudy Earth

Data collected by a sensor on the Aqua satellite reveals the global distribution of clouds.

Published May 8, 2015

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Malvinas Current, South America
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Malvinas Current, South America

This offshoot of the Circumpolar Current carries cool water north along the coast of South America until it encounters water pouring out of the Rio de la Plata.

Published May 7, 2005

Image of the Day Life Water

Flooding at the Junction of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers
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Flooding at the Junction of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers

Floods blanket farmland around the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in this Landsat image from May 3, 2011.

Published May 6, 2011

Image of the Day Land Floods

The Shrinking Aral Sea
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The Shrinking Aral Sea

The sequence of images shows the dramatic changes to the Aral Sea between 1973 and 2000.

Published May 5, 2001

Image of the Day Land Water

Smoke from Fires in Central America Drifts over Texas
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Smoke from Fires in Central America Drifts over Texas

Smoke from fires in tropical Mexico and Central America drifted over the U.S. Gulf States.

Published May 4, 2002

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Fires

Connecting Islands in the Pacific
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Connecting Islands in the Pacific

The eruption of an undersea volcano gave rise to new real estate between two islands in the kingdom of Tonga.

Published May 3, 2015

Image of the Day Land Water

Finding the Hottest Spots on Earth by Satellite
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Finding the Hottest Spots on Earth by Satellite

The Sun heats not only the air around us, but the land we walk on. Scientists are interested in the difference between the two.

Published May 2, 2012

Image of the Day Heat Land

Height and Motion of the Chikurachki Eruption Plume
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Height and Motion of the Chikurachki Eruption Plume

Early data from the MISR instrument helps decipher the dynamics of the gas and ash emerging from a volcano.

Published May 1, 2003

Image of the Day Atmosphere Volcanoes

Plankton and Sulfur in the Benguela Current
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Plankton and Sulfur in the Benguela Current

Ocean currents and nutrient-rich waters conspire to create a boon for some ocean species and a dead zone for others.

Published Apr 30, 2014

Image of the Day Water

Low Pressure off Northern California Coast
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Low Pressure off Northern California Coast

The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) captured this view of a massive low pressure system in April 2003.

Published Apr 29, 2003

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Open- and Closed-Cell Clouds over the Pacific Ocean
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Open- and Closed-Cell Clouds over the Pacific Ocean

Acquired April 17, 2010, this natural-color image shows a network of open- and closed-cell clouds over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru.

Published Apr 28, 2010

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Oil Leak from Damaged Well in Gulf of Mexico
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Oil Leak from Damaged Well in Gulf of Mexico

Oil from a damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico created a silvery sheen on the water southeast of the Mississippi Delta on April 25, 2010.

Published Apr 27, 2010

Image of the Day Water Human Presence

Volcanoes near Usulután, El Salvador
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Volcanoes near Usulután, El Salvador

Differences in size and surface features reveal the histories of four adjacent volcanoes in El Salvador.

Published Apr 26, 2010

Image of the Day Land

A Rare Clear Day on Mount Washington
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A Rare Clear Day on Mount Washington

The tallest peaks in New England face some pretty nasty weather.

Published Apr 25, 2017

Image of the Day Land

Lake Sediment Plume in Northern Kazakhstan
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Lake Sediment Plume in Northern Kazakhstan

Winds occasionally loft fine sediments from the the shores of Ozero Siletiteniz into the air over the steppe.

Published Apr 24, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Dust and Haze World of Change