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.

Something Fishy in the Deep, Dark Ocean

Something Fishy in the Deep, Dark Ocean

Published Oct 31, 2013

Squid boats create a city of light in the South Atlantic.

Explore Other Days in EO History

JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember

October

Hurricane Sandy
Image

Hurricane Sandy

The dramatic late-season storm was observed shortly before making landfall on the U.S. Northeast Coast.

Published Oct 30, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Severe Storms

Eruption of Sicily’s Mt. Etna
Image

Eruption of Sicily’s Mt. Etna

NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color view of an eruption at Europe’s largest and most active volcano.

Published Oct 29, 2002

Image of the Day Land

Dark Snow Project
Image

Dark Snow Project

Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet reveals impurity-rich ice that is thousands of years old.

Published Oct 28, 2014

Image of the Day Land

Floods Swamp Historic City in Thailand
Image

Floods Swamp Historic City in Thailand

Flooding submerged large parts of the historic city of Ayutthaya, Thailand, in October 2011.

Published Oct 27, 2011

Image of the Day Land Floods World of Change

Gonzalo Stirs Up Sediment and the Carbon Cycle
Image

Gonzalo Stirs Up Sediment and the Carbon Cycle

The potent storm spread coraline sediments from the shallows around Bermuda into the deeper ocean.

Published Oct 26, 2014

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Severe Storms

Klyuchevskaya Erupts
Image

Klyuchevskaya Erupts

In October 2013, the tallest and most active volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula saw a surge in activity.

Published Oct 25, 2013

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Volcanoes

Midwestern USA at Night with Aurora Borealis
Image

Midwestern USA at Night with Aurora Borealis

When viewed from the International Space Station, the night skies are illuminated with light from many sources.

Published Oct 24, 2011

Image of the Day Atmosphere Human Presence

Drought Shrinking São  Paulo Reservoirs
Image

Drought Shrinking São Paulo Reservoirs

Water supplies are near historically low levels in southeastern Brazil.

Published Oct 23, 2014

Image of the Day Water Drought Human Presence

Cloud Plume with a Cold War Twist
Image

Cloud Plume with a Cold War Twist

Gas hydrates? Nuclear tests? No. Just unusual, but natural clouds.

Published Oct 22, 2013

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Snow and Ice

Measuring Earth’s Albedo
Image

Measuring Earth’s Albedo

The global picture of how Earth reflects sunlight is a muddle, though several regional trends emerge.

Published Oct 21, 2014

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat Land Water Remote Sensing World of Change

Life Reclaims Mount St. Helens
Image

Life Reclaims Mount St. Helens

Over 33 years, life has reclaimed the land from the wreckage of the 1980 volcanic eruption.

Published Oct 20, 2013

Image of the Day Land World of Change

The Many Colors of Electric Lights
Image

The Many Colors of Electric Lights

Distinct colors mark the communities and commerce along the Tsushima Strait, between Japan and South Korea.

Published Oct 19, 2014

Image of the Day Human Presence Remote Sensing

Central Asia’s Water Tower
Image

Central Asia’s Water Tower

Glaciers on the Tien Shan, a long mountain range that runs through central Asia, serve as a key source of freshwater for cities in the region.

Published Oct 18, 2012

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

Kenya’s Ewaso Nyiro River Dries
Image

Kenya’s Ewaso Nyiro River Dries

Severe drought gripped much of East Africa in 2009, turning a riverbed into a pale tan ribbon of sand.

Published Oct 17, 2009

Image of the Day Land Life Drought

A Curious Ensemble of Wonderful Features
Image

A Curious Ensemble of Wonderful Features

Parts of the Glen Canyon that John Wesley Powell explored in 1869 have been submerged by Lake Powell.

Published Oct 16, 2016

Image of the Day Land

Connecticut River Oxbow
Image

Connecticut River Oxbow

Floods and new infrastructure have long since separated the distinctive bend in the river that was portrayed by landscape painter Thomas Cole in 1836.

Published Oct 15, 2017

Image of the Day Human Presence

Space Station view of the Pyramids at Giza
Image

Space Station view of the Pyramids at Giza

This image represents, for its time, the greatest detail of the Giza plateau captured from a human-occupied spacecraft.

Published Oct 14, 2001

Image of the Day Land Life

Craters of the Moon, Idaho
Image

Craters of the Moon, Idaho

This lava field includes at least 60 flows ranging from 15,000 to 2,100 years old.

Published Oct 13, 2009

Image of the Day Land

The Legacy of Nimbus
Image

The Legacy of Nimbus

Fifty years ago, NASA launched the first of seven satellites that revolutionized how we study weather, the atmosphere, and other Earth systems.

Published Oct 12, 2014

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Severe Storms Remote Sensing

Bhutan, Himalayas
Image

Bhutan, Himalayas

One of the highest mountain reliefs on Earth can be found in this tiny country sandwiched between eastern India and the Tibetan plateau,

Published Oct 11, 2005

Image of the Day Heat Land

Auroras over North America
Image

Auroras over North America

A geomagnetic storm in early October lit up the skies with northern lights that were detected by an Earth-observing satellite.

Published Oct 10, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Shrinking Shoreline of the Salton Sea
Image

Shrinking Shoreline of the Salton Sea

California’s largest lake is shrinking, and an unusual combination of conservation, drought, and water laws may someday take it away.

Published Oct 9, 2015

Image of the Day Land Water

Boteti River, Botswana
Image

Boteti River, Botswana

In September 2010, water again flowed through this riverbed after several dry years.

Published Oct 8, 2010

Image of the Day Land

A Little Water Goes a Long Way
Image

A Little Water Goes a Long Way

The tiny amount of water vapor in our atmosphere has an outsized influence on the planet as a potent greenhouse gas.

Published Oct 7, 2010

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water

Long Cold Spell Leads to Arctic Ozone Hole
Image

Long Cold Spell Leads to Arctic Ozone Hole

An unusually long period of cold temperatures and strong winds allowed an Arctic ozone hole to form in March 2011.

Published Oct 6, 2011

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Russian Kolka Glacier Collapses
Image

Russian Kolka Glacier Collapses

In September 2002, the collapse of a hanging glacier from Mt. Dzhimarai-Khokh triggered an avalanche that buried small villages in North Ossetia.

Published Oct 5, 2002

Image of the Day Land Life Volcanoes Snow and Ice

From Green to Brown
Image

From Green to Brown

In a span of just 11 days, fall colors swept over the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Siberia.

Published Oct 4, 2012

Image of the Day Land World of Change

Fast-Flowing Glaciers Thin Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets
Image

Fast-Flowing Glaciers Thin Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets

To understand how fast-moving glaciers are changing the ice sheets, scientists devised a method to map elevation change using data from ICESat.

Published Oct 3, 2009

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

MODIS Views the North Pole
Image

MODIS Views the North Pole

A NASA satellite captures one of its first clear views of the Arctic sea ice cap.

Published Oct 2, 2000

Image of the Day Water

Some Tea With Your River?
Image

Some Tea With Your River?

Dissolved organic matter from forests and wetlands stained the water dark brown near Rupert Bay. A similar process darkens tea.

Published Oct 1, 2016

Image of the Day Water Remote Sensing

September

Ash and Lava Flows at Nabro
Image

Ash and Lava Flows at Nabro

A NASA satellite observed the eruption of a volcano in a remote part of Eritrea.

Published Sep 30, 2011

Image of the Day Land Volcanoes

Pinpointing Where Lights Went Out in Puerto Rico
Image

Pinpointing Where Lights Went Out in Puerto Rico

Satellite data on city lights could aid rescue and recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria.

Published Sep 29, 2017

Image of the Day Severe Storms Human Presence Remote Sensing

Copper Deposits in Iran
Image

Copper Deposits in Iran

Scientists are using images such as these to locate alteration minerals.

Published Sep 28, 2002

Image of the Day Land Remote Sensing

Fire in the Sky and on the Ground
Image

Fire in the Sky and on the Ground

Astronauts on the International Space Station captured these views of the aurora australis and wildfires in Australia.

Published Sep 27, 2011

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat

The Aral Sea Loses Its Eastern Lobe
Image

The Aral Sea Loses Its Eastern Lobe

Once part of the fourth-largest lake in the world, the eastern lobe of the southern Aral has dried up for the first time in modern history.

Published Sep 26, 2014

Image of the Day Land Water

Volcanoes of Kamchatka
Image

Volcanoes of Kamchatka

The peninsula has one of the highest concentrations of active volcanoes in the world.

Published Sep 25, 2014

Image of the Day Land

International Space Station from the Space Shuttle
Image

International Space Station from the Space Shuttle

An astronaut shot this photograph while looking back across the length of Endeavour.

Published Sep 24, 2007

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water

Water Level Changes in Lake Mead
Image

Water Level Changes in Lake Mead

In August 2010, Lake Mead reached its lowest level since 1956, the result of a persistent drought and increasing human demand.

Published Sep 23, 2010

Image of the Day Land

A Broad View of Flooding in the Carolinas
Image

A Broad View of Flooding in the Carolinas

Rivers swelled from the torrential rains of Hurricane Florence.

Published Sep 22, 2018

Image of the Day Land Water Severe Storms Human Presence Remote Sensing

Dust and Clouds Dance Over the Sahara
Image

Dust and Clouds Dance Over the Sahara

A massive dust storm filled the skies over Libya in early September 2014.

Published Sep 21, 2014

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land

Changes on Ol Doinyo Lengai
Image

Changes on Ol Doinyo Lengai

In September 2007, a series of explosive eruptions altered the summit of the volcano, the only one that erupts natrocarbonatite lava.

Published Sep 20, 2009

Image of the Day Land Volcanoes

Bloom in the Bering Sea
Image

Bloom in the Bering Sea

Changing conditions in the waters near Alaska promotes late summer phytoplankton growth.

Published Sep 19, 2014

Image of the Day Life Water Water Color

Watching the Ozone Hole Before and After the Montreal Protocol
Image

Watching the Ozone Hole Before and After the Montreal Protocol

NASA satellites have observed the Antarctic ozone hole since the late 1970s—before and after nations agreed to stop producing chemicals that destroy the ozone layer.

Published Sep 18, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Finding Hidden Shoals on the North Slope
Image

Finding Hidden Shoals on the North Slope

By analyzing satellite images of sediments, coastal researchers and cartographers can identify potential shallows, shoals, and shipping hazards.

Published Sep 17, 2015

Image of the Day Water

Urban Growth in Cairo 1965-98
Image

Urban Growth in Cairo 1965-98

Astronaut photographs from the Gemini era and from the space shuttle reveal tremendous growth.

Published Sep 16, 2001

Image of the Day Land Life

The World’s Largest Urban Area
Image

The World’s Largest Urban Area

Rapid growth in several cities along the Pearl River Delta has made a Chinese megacity larger and more populous than any other urban area in the world.

Published Sep 15, 2015

Image of the Day Life Human Presence

NASA Satellite Measures Deforestation
Image

NASA Satellite Measures Deforestation

MODIS sensors view the Amazon multiple times a day, so they can provide a rapid assessment of forest change that is not possible with high-resolution sensors.

Published Sep 14, 2005

Image of the Day Land Life

Seasonal Changes along the Indus River
Image

Seasonal Changes along the Indus River

Because the river irrigates millions of acres of farms, the seasonal cycle changes not just the river, but also the surrounding landscape.

Published Sep 13, 2011

Image of the Day Land Human Presence World of Change

Tragedy in New York City
Image

Tragedy in New York City

A NASA satellite captured this image of the grim aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Published Sep 12, 2001

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land

After a Fire, Before a Flood
Image

After a Fire, Before a Flood

Landsat helps direct restoration efforts in at-risk areas.

Published Sep 11, 2013

Image of the Day Heat Land Fires

Roiling Flows on Holuhraun Lava Field
Image

Roiling Flows on Holuhraun Lava Field

Landsat 8 captured fine details of the lava flowing in Iceland between the Bardarbunga and Askja volcanoes.

Published Sep 10, 2014

Image of the Day Land Volcanoes Snow and Ice

Sediment Spews from Connecticut River
Image

Sediment Spews from Connecticut River

Nearly a week after Hurricane Irene drenched New England, the river was spewing large amounts of muddy sediment into Long Island Sound.

Published Sep 9, 2011

Image of the Day Land Water Floods Severe Storms

NASA’s Front Porch View of Rising Seas
Image

NASA’s Front Porch View of Rising Seas

The nation’s problem is also NASA’s problem: Half to two-thirds of our space infrastructure and assets stand within 5 meters of sea level.

Published Sep 8, 2015

Image of the Day Water

Meeting of the Waters
Image

Meeting of the Waters

The confluence of the Rio Negro and Rio Solimões in Brazil is famous for unusual mixing patterns.

Published Sep 7, 2012

Image of the Day Water Human Presence

Increasing Tropical Rainfall
Image

Increasing Tropical Rainfall

The planet’s wettest areas are getting a little wetter, according to NASA scientists who analyzed 25 years of ground- and space-based rainfall observations.

Published Sep 6, 2007

Image of the Day Atmosphere

India-Pakistan Borderlands at Night
Image

India-Pakistan Borderlands at Night

Clusters of yellow lights on the Indo-Gangetic Plain reveal numerous cities large and small, as well as a border fence.

Published Sep 5, 2011

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Horton River Delta, Arctic Canada
Image

Horton River Delta, Arctic Canada

In the past few centuries, a river in northwestern Canada stopped wandering and assumed a more direct route to the sea.

Published Sep 4, 2012

Image of the Day Land Water

Sutter Buttes, California
Image

Sutter Buttes, California

Old volcanic domes form the backbone of the “smallest mountain range in the world.”

Published Sep 3, 2012

Image of the Day Land

California Wildfires as Seen From the Space Shuttle
Image

California Wildfires as Seen From the Space Shuttle

An astronaut on the Space Shuttle photographed several wildfires burning in California in August 2001.

Published Sep 2, 2001

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land

Trio of Hurricanes Over the Pacific Ocean
Image

Trio of Hurricanes Over the Pacific Ocean

For the first time in recorded history, three Category 4 storms lined up over the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.

Published Sep 1, 2015

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Severe Storms

August

Contour Plowing in the Palouse
Image

Contour Plowing in the Palouse

By planting in narrow strips and plowing in patterns that mimic the natural contours of the land, farmers in southeastern Washington are trying to prevent productive soils from washing away.

Published Aug 31, 2014

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Hurricane Katrina Arrives
Image

Hurricane Katrina Arrives

With winds of 135 miles per hour, a powerful storm surge, and heavy rains, the category 4 hurricane pounded the U.S. Gulf Coast, triggering deadly flooding.

Published Aug 30, 2005

Image of the Day Atmosphere Severe Storms

Tracking Dust Across the Atlantic
Image

Tracking Dust Across the Atlantic

Dust storms in mid-summer 2013 spanned the Atlantic Ocean, depositing particles in the Americas and perhaps suppressing hurricanes.

Published Aug 29, 2013

Image of the Day Atmosphere

A Nighttime View of California’s Rim Fire
Image

A Nighttime View of California’s Rim Fire

Burning in the northeast corner of Yosemite National Park, the Rim Fire ranks among the largest in California history.

Published Aug 28, 2013

Image of the Day Land Fires

Aral Sea Continues to Shrink
Image

Aral Sea Continues to Shrink

In the first half of the twentieth century, it was the world’s fourth-largest lake. By August 2009, virtually nothing remained of the largest lobe.

Published Aug 27, 2009

Image of the Day Land World of Change

Hurricane Harvey Approaches Texas
Image

Hurricane Harvey Approaches Texas

Forecasters believe the storm will be the strongest to make landfall in the United States in 12 years.

Published Aug 26, 2017

Image of the Day Land Water Severe Storms Human Presence

Garden and Hog Islands, Michigan
Image

Garden and Hog Islands, Michigan

An archipelago in northern Lake Michigan has little in the way of human settlement. However, offshore ridges offer ideal breeding ground for trout.

Published Aug 25, 2013

Image of the Day Land Water Unique Imagery

Red Sprites Above the U.S. and Central America
Image

Red Sprites Above the U.S. and Central America

Within three minutes, astronauts acquired two photographs of elusive red sprite emissions above thunderstorms.

Published Aug 24, 2015

Image of the Day Atmosphere

So Many Ways to View an Eclipse
Image

So Many Ways to View an Eclipse

The total solar eclipse proved spectacular whether seen from space, the ground, or mid-flight.

Published Aug 23, 2017

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Unique Imagery

Ice Island Calves off Petermann Glacier
Image

Ice Island Calves off Petermann Glacier

In August 2010, a NASA satellite tracked the chunk of ice as it slowly migrated down the fjord.

Published Aug 22, 2010

Image of the Day Snow and Ice Sea and Lake Ice

Widespread Fires in the Pacific Northwest
Image

Widespread Fires in the Pacific Northwest

The U.S. Forest Service and National Interagency Fire Center used a new tool to help monitor active wildfires across the entire United States and decide how to best combat them.

Published Aug 21, 2001

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land

A Nearly Ice-Free Northwest Passage
Image

A Nearly Ice-Free Northwest Passage

By mid-August 2016, the famed high-latitude sea route in the Arctic Ocean was open.

Published Aug 20, 2016

Image of the Day Water Snow and Ice Sea and Lake Ice

First Map of Antarctica’s Moving Ice
Image

First Map of Antarctica’s Moving Ice

Scientists mapped the motion of Antarctica’s ice sheets and revealed unexpected patterns.

Published Aug 19, 2011

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

Bloom in the Barents Sea
Image

Bloom in the Barents Sea

MODIS caught a clear view of an explosion of phytoplankton—a rare treat since the Barents Sea is cloud-covered roughly 80 percent of the summer.

Published Aug 18, 2011

Image of the Day Life Water Water Color

Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan
Image

Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan

In one year, the refugee camp became the fourth largest population center in Jordan.

Published Aug 17, 2013

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

European Heat Wave
Image

European Heat Wave

In July 2003, Europe experienced an historic heat wave that killed at least 3,000 people.

Published Aug 16, 2003

Image of the Day Heat Land Temperature Extremes

Tracking the Chelyabinsk Meteor Plume
Image

Tracking the Chelyabinsk Meteor Plume

Satellite instruments and computer models help NASA scientists dissect the atmospheric impact of the February 2013 bolide explosion over Russia.

Published Aug 15, 2013

Image of the Day Atmosphere

NASA Satellites Pinpoint Volcanic Eruption
Image

NASA Satellites Pinpoint Volcanic Eruption

A plume and floating pumice revealed the date and location of the eruption of a remote seamount.

Published Aug 14, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Volcanoes World of Change

Fresh Craters on the Moon and Earth
Image

Fresh Craters on the Moon and Earth

Throughout their histories, both the Moon and Earth have been bombarded by meteorites and asteroids, which often leave behind dramatic impact craters.

Published Aug 13, 2009

Image of the Day Land

How Farms Affect the Chesapeake Bay’s Water
Image

How Farms Affect the Chesapeake Bay’s Water

While farms remain a major source of water pollution, signs of improvements are beginning to emerge.

Published Aug 12, 2016

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Hurricane Alberto
Image

Hurricane Alberto

The SeaWiFS instrument captured the data for this composite view of an August 2000 hurricane while it was near Bermuda.

Published Aug 11, 2000

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Noctilucent Clouds
Image

Noctilucent Clouds

An astronaut on the ISS caught a glimpse of a sliver of the setting Moon and some clouds that shine at night.

Published Aug 10, 2003

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Antarctic Icebergs Chipped off by Japan Tsunami
Image

Antarctic Icebergs Chipped off by Japan Tsunami

Scientists observed the calving of several large icebergs from the Sulzberger Ice Shelf in Antarctica as a result of the March 2011 tsunami half a world away in Japan.

Published Aug 9, 2011

Image of the Day Water Snow and Ice Earthquakes

Mount Tongariro Erupts
Image

Mount Tongariro Erupts

A new satellite captured the eruption of a volcano at night on New Zealand's North Island.

Published Aug 8, 2012

Image of the Day Land Volcanoes Remote Sensing

Night View of Fires in Siberia
Image

Night View of Fires in Siberia

The Suomi NPP satellite carries an instrument so sensitive to low light levels that it can detect wildfires in the middle of the night.

Published Aug 7, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Fires

The Dark Side and the Bright Side
Image

The Dark Side and the Bright Side

The Deep Space Climate Observatory captured a unique view of the Moon as it passed between the spacecraft and Earth.

Published Aug 6, 2015

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water

Chernobyl, Ukraine
Image

Chernobyl, Ukraine

Twenty-three years after the explosion at Reactor Number Four, a NASA satellite glimpsed the remains.

Published Aug 5, 2009

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Ash Plume Streams from Mt. Etna, Sicily
Image

Ash Plume Streams from Mt. Etna, Sicily

The record of historical volcanism of Mt. Etna is one of the longest in the world, dating back to 1500 BC.

Published Aug 4, 2001

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land

Flooding in Pakistan
Image

Flooding in Pakistan

In August 2010, entire villages were washed away, more than 1,100 people died, and an estimated 2.5 million people were affected by dramatic monsoon rains.

Published Aug 3, 2010

Image of the Day Land Water Floods

Mount Kilimanjaro Closeup
Image

Mount Kilimanjaro Closeup

Most scientists agree that the glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro will be gone by the year 2020, but there is less agreement as to why they are now receding.

Published Aug 2, 2004

Image of the Day Land Snow and Ice

The Many Hues of London
Image

The Many Hues of London

While a typical digital camera takes one picture of a scene based on information from the visible spectrum, Landsat generates multiple views of everything it images.

Published Aug 1, 2012

Image of the Day Human Presence Remote Sensing

July

Earth from the Moon
Image

Earth from the Moon

From orbit around the Moon, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this image of Earth in June 2010.

Published Jul 31, 2010

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water

Oil Slick in the Gulf of Mexico
Image

Oil Slick in the Gulf of Mexico

Acquired in the months after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, this natural-color image shows possible oil patches near the Mississippi Delta.

Published Jul 30, 2010

Image of the Day Water Human Presence

Tracing Aerosols to their Smoky and Sandy Sources
Image

Tracing Aerosols to their Smoky and Sandy Sources

The aerosol index offers a way to see the long reach of forest fires and dust storms.

Published Jul 29, 2014

Image of the Day Atmosphere Fires

Comet Atlantis
Image

Comet Atlantis

Space Shuttle Atlantis streaked across the sky to its final landing at Kennedy Space Center.

Published Jul 28, 2011

Image of the Day Human Presence

Lagoons and Reefs of New Caledonia
Image

Lagoons and Reefs of New Caledonia

This French-governed archipelago contains the world’s third-largest coral reef structure.

Published Jul 27, 2008

Image of the Day Land Life Water

Carrizozo Lava Flow
Image

Carrizozo Lava Flow

In south-central New Mexico, a charcoal-brown scar undulates across the arid landscape.

Published Jul 26, 2009

Image of the Day Land

Satellites Observe Widespread Melting Event on Greenland
Image

Satellites Observe Widespread Melting Event on Greenland

In July 2012, satellites observed melting on nearly 97 percent of the ice sheet surface.

Published Jul 25, 2012

Image of the Day Heat Unique Imagery Snow and Ice

Global Groundwater Basins in Distress
Image

Global Groundwater Basins in Distress

About one third of Earth’s large groundwater basins are being rapidly depleted by human consumption even though we have little accurate data about how much water remains in them.

Published Jul 24, 2015

Image of the Day Water

First of Three Million
Image

First of Three Million

This image of the Dallas metro area was the very first image in the archives of the Landsat mission, launched in 1972.

Published Jul 23, 2012

Image of the Day Land

Following a Raindrop from New York to Newport News
Image

Following a Raindrop from New York to Newport News

A drop of water that falls in central New York takes a long ride to the sea. It flows past some extraordinary natural features that help tell the story of how the Chesapeake Bay came to be.

Published Jul 22, 2016

Image of the Day Land Life Water Human Presence

Sun Rising on the Final Shuttle Mission
Image

Sun Rising on the Final Shuttle Mission

Astronauts supplied the International Space Station with a new logistics module; tested tools, technologies, and techniques to refuel satellites in space; and collected old equipment.

Published Jul 21, 2011

Image of the Day Human Presence Remote Sensing

Apollo 11 Landing Site
Image

Apollo 11 Landing Site

Forty years after the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this image of the descent stage of the Eagle lunar module.

Published Jul 20, 2009

Image of the Day Human Presence

Looking Beyond the Visible
Image

Looking Beyond the Visible

By using satellite sensors that detect infrared radiation, scientists have started to map the mineralogy of debris on glaciers.

Published Jul 19, 2013

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

Smoke Goes Around the World
Image

Smoke Goes Around the World

Wildfires in Alaska and Canada send smoke plumes wafting in opposite directions around the Northern Hemisphere.

Published Jul 18, 2015

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Drought Grips the United States
Image

Drought Grips the United States

In a dry spell of historic proportions, more than half of the country faced severe or moderate drought.

Published Jul 17, 2012

Image of the Day Heat Land Life Drought

Apollo 11 Launch Pad
Image

Apollo 11 Launch Pad

By launching from the east coast of Florida, NASA took advantage of both geography and physics.

Published Jul 16, 2009

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Jakobshavn Glacier Retreat
Image

Jakobshavn Glacier Retreat

Acquired in 2001 and 2010, these natural-color images show substantial retreat in the Jakobshavn Glacier.

Published Jul 15, 2010

Image of the Day Land Snow and Ice

Eruption of Raung Volcano
Image

Eruption of Raung Volcano

One of the most active volcanoes on the Indonesian island of Java spewed fresh ash and gases in early July 2015.

Published Jul 14, 2015

Image of the Day Volcanoes Remote Sensing

Palm Island Resort
Image

Palm Island Resort

The Islands were constructed on reclaimed land off of Dubai’s Persian Gulf coast.

Published Jul 13, 2003

Image of the Day Land Water

Wildfires in Siberia
Image

Wildfires in Siberia

Thick smoke billowed from fires in Yakutia on July 10, 2012.

Published Jul 12, 2012

Image of the Day Land

Brazilian Dune Fields
Image

Brazilian Dune Fields

Sand dunes sprawl along the coast of northeastern Brazil, sometimes extending kilometers inland.

Published Jul 11, 2010

Image of the Day Land

Elusive Sprite Captured from the International Space Station
Image

Elusive Sprite Captured from the International Space Station

Red sprites, short-lived flashes caused by intense lightning, are rarely captured on camera.

Published Jul 10, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Atlantis Rides Into History
Image

Atlantis Rides Into History

In July 2011, the Space Shuttle Atlantis lit its rockets and roared into space for the 135th and last flight of the U.S. space transportation system.

Published Jul 9, 2011

Image of the Day Human Presence Remote Sensing

A Global Garden: Plants Storing Carbon
Image

A Global Garden: Plants Storing Carbon

By providing a measurement of all of the carbon being stored in Earth’s plants, maps like these help scientists figure out what happens to the carbon people release by burning fossil fuels.

Published Jul 8, 2011

Image of the Day Land Life Water

Alaska’s Biggest (Ice) Losers are Inland
Image

Alaska’s Biggest (Ice) Losers are Inland

Glaciers in a region of Alaska are losing about 75 billion tons of ice per year, but not all glaciers contribute equally.

Published Jul 7, 2015

Image of the Day Land Water Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

U.S. Climate: The New Normal
Image

U.S. Climate: The New Normal

These maps compare January minimum temperatures and July maximum temperatures in the U.S. Climate Normals, a 30-year frame of reference. The new normal reflects a warming world.

Published Jul 6, 2011

Image of the Day Heat Life

Eruption of Sarychev Peak, Kuril Islands
Image

Eruption of Sarychev Peak, Kuril Islands

A pair of before-and-after images shows how the June 2009 eruption of Sarychev Peak Volcano transformed Matua Island.

Published Jul 5, 2009

Image of the Day Volcanoes Remote Sensing

The Birthplace of the United States
Image

The Birthplace of the United States

It was here the founders shaped the future of American government.

Published Jul 4, 2017

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg
Image

150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

Modern remote sensing tools are helping to shed new light on the historic battle.

Published Jul 3, 2013

Image of the Day Land Unique Imagery Human Presence

The World’s Newest Capital City
Image

The World’s Newest Capital City

Juba, a port city on the White Nile, is the capital of the new nation of South Sudan and is one of the fastest growing cities in the world.

Published Jul 2, 2012

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Yellowstone Recovers from 1988 Fires
Image

Yellowstone Recovers from 1988 Fires

In 1988, wildfires raced through Yellowstone National Park, consuming hundreds of thousands of acres. This series of Landsat images tracks the landscape’s slow recovery through 2008.

Published Jul 1, 2009

Image of the Day Land

June

First Complete Day from MODIS
Image

First Complete Day from MODIS

This image of Earth is a composite of the first full day of data gathered by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on the Terra spacecraft.

Published Jun 30, 2000

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water

Oil Slick Around Mississippi Barrier Islands
Image

Oil Slick Around Mississippi Barrier Islands

On June 26, 2010, oil was visible in the waters surrounding Horn and Petit Bois Islands following the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Published Jun 29, 2010

Image of the Day Water Human Presence

Detailed Views of Erupting Nabro Volcano
Image

Detailed Views of Erupting Nabro Volcano

This pair of satellite images was among the first detailed pictures of the erupting vent and lava flows.

Published Jun 28, 2011

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Volcanoes

Okavango Swamp, Botswana
Image

Okavango Swamp, Botswana

Sometimes called the Jewel of the Kalahari, the area is an enormous, pristine wetland that almost miraculously appears out of a desert.

Published Jun 27, 2011

Image of the Day Land

Astronaut View of Fires in Colorado
Image

Astronaut View of Fires in Colorado

The West Fork Complex fire was so hot that it spawned numerous pyrocumulus clouds.

Published Jun 26, 2013

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Fires

Polar Mesospheric Clouds, Northern Hemisphere
Image

Polar Mesospheric Clouds, Northern Hemisphere

“Night-shining” clouds form at high altitudes in late spring and early summer.

Published Jun 25, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Tornadoes Spawn near Deshler, Nebraska
Image

Tornadoes Spawn near Deshler, Nebraska

The image shows the tops of the thunderheads with their characteristic anvil clouds.

Published Jun 24, 2003

Image of the Day Atmosphere Severe Storms

Volcanoes, Clouds, and Swirling Winds
Image

Volcanoes, Clouds, and Swirling Winds

An image from the remote South Sandwich Islands shows how volcanic emissions can create clouds, while the islands themselves deform those clouds.

Published Jun 23, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat

Sarychev Peak Eruption, Kuril Islands
Image

Sarychev Peak Eruption, Kuril Islands

A fortuitous orbit of the International Space Station in 2009 offered the astronauts a striking view of the volcano in an early stage of eruption.

Published Jun 22, 2009

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Volcanoes

Lake Eyre Filling Peaks
Image

Lake Eyre Filling Peaks

By mid-June 2009, the rare filling of this lake in Australia’s Simpson Desert appeared to have reached its peak.

Published Jun 21, 2009

Image of the Day Land Life

Todhia Arable Farm in Saudi Arabia
Image

Todhia Arable Farm in Saudi Arabia

Satellites can help farmers make the most of the limited water resources at a farm in the Arabian Desert.

Published Jun 20, 2015

Image of the Day Land Life Human Presence

Laguna Mellquina, Andes Mountains
Image

Laguna Mellquina, Andes Mountains

This depiction of an area south of San Martin de Los Andes, Argentina, was the first Shuttle Radar Topography Mission view of the tallest mountain chain in the western hemisphere.

Published Jun 19, 2001

Image of the Day Land

Ash from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle
Image

Ash from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle

This series of images tracks ash from a Chilean volcano that made a nearly complete circle around the world.

Published Jun 18, 2011

Image of the Day Atmosphere Volcanoes

Fogo, Cape Verde Islands
Image

Fogo, Cape Verde Islands

The volcano was almost continuously active from the 1500s until 1760.

Published Jun 17, 2009

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

A Monster Slide
Image

A Monster Slide

A landslide in eastern Tibet backed up the Yigong River for two months.

Published Jun 16, 2012

Image of the Day Land Remote Sensing

Tiny Shrimp, Big Changes
Image

Tiny Shrimp, Big Changes

Aquaculture along the coast of the Gulf of Fonseca shows the delicate balance between coastal development and conservation.

Published Jun 15, 2012

Image of the Day Land Life Water Human Presence

Sunset from the International Space Station
Image

Sunset from the International Space Station

Astronauts aboard the ISS see sixteen sunrises and sunsets per day.

Published Jun 14, 2010

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Lava Consumes Vacationland and Kapoho Bay
Image

Lava Consumes Vacationland and Kapoho Bay

Kilauea erupted enough lava to fill 45,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Published Jun 13, 2018

Image of the Day Land Water Volcanoes Human Presence Remote Sensing

A Measure of Salt
Image

A Measure of Salt

One year after its launch, the Aquarius instrument is giving ocean sciences its first global view of sea surface salinity.

Published Jun 12, 2012

Image of the Day Water

A Long Look at El Paso and Ciudad Juarez
Image

A Long Look at El Paso and Ciudad Juarez

When the Landsat archive is combined with modern computing power, scientists can view the planet not just across space, but also time.

Published Jun 11, 2013

Image of the Day Land Unique Imagery Human Presence Remote Sensing World of Change

Clouds and Global Warming
Image

Clouds and Global Warming

High, cold clouds radiate less thermal energy to space than low, warm clouds.

Published Jun 10, 2010

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Remembering a Monster Eruption
Image

Remembering a Monster Eruption

It was the largest eruption of the 20th century, but you've probably never heard of it.

Published Jun 9, 2012

Image of the Day Land

Remembering Yoram Kaufman
Image

Remembering Yoram Kaufman

Kaufman served as program manager for NASA’s Earth Observatory from its launch in April 1999, through January 2006.

Published Jun 8, 2006

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Viewing the Transit of Venus from Space
Image

Viewing the Transit of Venus from Space

For the first time in history, and the last time for a century, astronauts captured images of the planetary transit as viewed from orbit.

Published Jun 7, 2012

Image of the Day Heat

Canyonlands’ Grabens
Image

Canyonlands’ Grabens

Sinking blocks of rock created this distinctive network of valleys.

Published Jun 6, 2014

Image of the Day Land

Gross Primary Productivity
Image

Gross Primary Productivity

This map of plant photosynthesis was the first of its kind from the MODIS instrument, which was launched in December 1999 on the Terra spacecraft.

Published Jun 5, 2000

Image of the Day Land Life

Lay of the Land Between Old River and the Mississippi
Image

Lay of the Land Between Old River and the Mississippi

This model of the land elevation between the Mississippi, the Atchafalaya, and the Old River show the uphill fight to control river flow.

Published Jun 4, 2011

Image of the Day Land Floods Human Presence

Subsidence in New Orleans
Image

Subsidence in New Orleans

In the three-year period prior to Hurricane Katrina, the city subsided 8 millimeters per year relative to global mean sea level.

Published Jun 3, 2006

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Sulfur Dioxide Plume from Grímsvötn
Image

Sulfur Dioxide Plume from Grímsvötn

A NASA satellite caught this glimpse of a plume rising and drifting from the Icelandic volcano in May 2011.

Published Jun 2, 2011

Image of the Day Atmosphere Volcanoes

Zambezi Flood Plain, Namibia
Image

Zambezi Flood Plain, Namibia

Originating in swampy wetlands, the river tumbles over one of the world’s largest waterfalls, flows through deep gorges, and spreads across broad floodplains.

Published Jun 1, 2010

Image of the Day Land

May

City Lights at Night along the France-Italy Border
Image

City Lights at Night along the France-Italy Border

Moonglint and the lights of Torino, Lyon, and Marseille glitter in this nighttime astronaut photo of the Italy-France border region.

Published May 31, 2010

Image of the Day Human Presence

Landsat 7 Reveals Large-scale Fractal Motion of Clouds
Image

Landsat 7 Reveals Large-scale Fractal Motion of Clouds

Clouds off the Chilean coast show a unique pattern called a “von Karman vortex street.”

Published May 30, 2000

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water

Sichuan Landslides
Image

Sichuan Landslides

These images show changes in the landscape before and after an earthquake struck on May 12, 2008.

Published May 29, 2008

Image of the Day Land Volcanoes Earthquakes

Permafrost on Mars and Earth
Image

Permafrost on Mars and Earth

This pair of images shows the similarities between the surface of Mars and permafrost near Spitsbergen, Svalbard.

Published May 28, 2008

Image of the Day Land

Tierras Bajas Deforestation, Bolivia
Image

Tierras Bajas Deforestation, Bolivia

The area east of Santa Cruz was originally dry tropical forest.

Published May 27, 2001

Image of the Day Land Life

Arctic Amplification
Image

Arctic Amplification

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

Published May 26, 2013

Image of the Day Atmosphere Human Presence

Nighttime Ash Tracking with CALIPSO
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

A Rare Cyclone on the Equator

Storms like Typhoon Vamei are not supposed to happen.

Published May 9, 2003

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Cloudy Earth
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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
Image

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 Volcanoes

Finding the Hottest Spots on Earth by Satellite
Image

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
Image

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

April

Plankton and Sulfur in the Benguela Current
Image

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

Urbanization of Dubai
Image

Urbanization of Dubai

This development of Palm Jumeirah is one of the world’s most conspicuous examples of engineered coastlines.

Published Apr 29, 2009

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

River Piracy in the Yukon
Image

River Piracy in the Yukon

The Kaskawulsh River stole most of the water from the Slims River, dramatically reshaping the region’s drainage.

Published Apr 28, 2017

Image of the Day Water Snow and Ice

Oil Leak from Damaged Well in Gulf of Mexico
Image

Oil Leak from Damaged Well in Gulf of Mexico

These satellite images were among the first revealing the scope of the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Published Apr 27, 2010

Image of the Day Water Human Presence

Volcanoes near Usulután, El Salvador
Image

Volcanoes near Usulután, El Salvador

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

Published Apr 26, 2010

Image of the Day Land

A Rare Clear Day on Mount Washington
Image

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

Sediment Plume in Northern Kazakhstan
Image

Sediment Plume in Northern Kazakhstan

Winds occasionally loft fine dust into the air from the shores of Ozero Siletiteniz.

Published Apr 24, 2012

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

Ice Scours the North Caspian Sea
Image

Ice Scours the North Caspian Sea

Curious gouges on the shallow seafloor were formed by ice that topped the sea in wintertime.

Published Apr 23, 2016

Image of the Day Land Water

Global Views of Our Planet, Then and Now
Image

Global Views of Our Planet, Then and Now

Before there was a Blue Marble photograph or composite image of Earth, there was TIROS IX.

Published Apr 22, 2015

Image of the Day Human Presence Remote Sensing

Hot spots on Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull Volcano
Image

Hot spots on Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull Volcano

A NASA satellite spied the eruption plume and the heat signature of lava at the summit.

Published Apr 21, 2010

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Volcanoes

The Gulf Stream
Image

The Gulf Stream

One of the strongest ocean currents on Earth ferries heat from the tropics into the far North Atlantic and toward Europe.

Published Apr 20, 2005

Image of the Day Life Water

Spring Paints the Piedmont Green
Image

Spring Paints the Piedmont Green

The timing of seasons in North America is changing.

Published Apr 19, 2012

Image of the Day Land

Bassas da India in Sunglint
Image

Bassas da India in Sunglint

A photograph of an uninhabited atoll in the Indian Ocean has an almost surreal quality due to varying degrees of sunglint.

Published Apr 18, 2011

Image of the Day Water

Mapping Minerals with Light
Image

Mapping Minerals with Light

A combo of infrared and visible wavelengths exposes the mineral geology around China’s Piqiang Fault.

Published Apr 17, 2014

Image of the Day Land Remote Sensing

Otherworldly Salt Lakes and Lagoons in Crimea
Image

Otherworldly Salt Lakes and Lagoons in Crimea

False-color satellite images offer a new perspective on familiar features.

Published Apr 16, 2016

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

Aurora Australis
Image

Aurora Australis

Reds and greens dominate this view of the northern lights as photographed from the Space Shuttle in May 1991.

Published Apr 15, 2001

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Grand Canyon Geology Lessons on View
Image

Grand Canyon Geology Lessons on View

You can almost sense the invisible tectonic forces within the Earth when you look at this geological icon from space.

Published Apr 14, 2014

Image of the Day Land Remote Sensing

Night Light Maps Open Up New Applications
Image

Night Light Maps Open Up New Applications

By removing natural and stray light sources, researchers get a clearer picture of the human footprint on Earth.

Published Apr 13, 2017

Image of the Day Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence Remote Sensing

The Hottest Spot on Earth
Image

The Hottest Spot on Earth

For five out of seven years studied, the Lut Desert in Iran sweltered like no other place on the planet.

Published Apr 12, 2012

Image of the Day Heat Land World of Change

Larsen B Ice Shelf Collapse
Image

Larsen B Ice Shelf Collapse

Warm summer temperatures likely caused meltwater to fill crevasses and intensify pressure within the ice sheet.

Published Apr 11, 2002

Image of the Day Heat Water Sea and Lake Ice

Hobet Mine, West Virginia
Image

Hobet Mine, West Virginia

Multiple layers of coal lie underground in ancient rocks. In some places, miners remove mountaintops to get at it.

Published Apr 10, 2011

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Russia’s Bay of Whales
Image

Russia’s Bay of Whales

Few people live around the Ulbanskiy Bay. Whales, however, are plentiful.

Published Apr 9, 2017

Image of the Day Land Water

Wilkins Ice Bridge Collapse
Image

Wilkins Ice Bridge Collapse

A narrow ice bridge connecting Charcot Island and Latady Island broke apart in April 2009.

Published Apr 8, 2009

Image of the Day Snow and Ice Sea and Lake Ice

Fog Blankets the Yellow Sea
Image

Fog Blankets the Yellow Sea

A layer of warm, moist air over cooler sea water triggered thick fog along the Korean Coast.

Published Apr 7, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water

Wet Season Transforms the Zambezi
Image

Wet Season Transforms the Zambezi

Flowing down a gentle gradient, the river often spills onto floodplains during the rainy season.

Published Apr 6, 2013

Image of the Day Land Water World of Change

“Hurricane” Catarina hits Brazil
Image

“Hurricane” Catarina hits Brazil

Until March 2004, only two tropical cyclones had ever been recorded in the South Atlantic Basin, and no hurricanes.

Published Apr 5, 2004

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Dunes of the Grand Erg Oriental
Image

Dunes of the Grand Erg Oriental

Large linear dunes stretch across the Great Eastern Sand Sea of northern Algeria.

Published Apr 4, 2016

Image of the Day Land

50th Anniversary of the TIROS Satellite
Image

50th Anniversary of the TIROS Satellite

The first satellite designed to observe clouds was launched on April 1, 1960.

Published Apr 3, 2010

Image of the Day Atmosphere

A California Desert Erupts in Wildflowers
Image

A California Desert Erupts in Wildflowers

From space, a hint of green betrayed the revival of plant life.

Published Apr 2, 2017

Image of the Day Land Life Floods

Earth’s Crust Exposed in Oman
Image

Earth’s Crust Exposed in Oman

The mountains of northeastern Oman are high and dry, but millions of years ago, they were underneath an ocean.

Published Apr 1, 2012

Image of the Day Land

March

Kavir Desert, Iran
Image

Kavir Desert, Iran

The lack of soil and vegetation allows parallel lines and sweeping curves of geological structure to appear quite clearly.

Published Mar 31, 2014

Image of the Day Land

Eruption of Shiveluch Volcano, Kamchatka Peninsula
Image

Eruption of Shiveluch Volcano, Kamchatka Peninsula

Satellites usually capture images of volcanic ash plumes as they are blowing away. This image is different.

Published Mar 30, 2007

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Volcanoes

Extensive Ice Fractures in the Beaufort Sea
Image

Extensive Ice Fractures in the Beaufort Sea

A combination of winds, currents, storms, and young ice came together to produce a wave of fractures in Arctic sea ice off the coast of northern Alaska.

Published Mar 29, 2013

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

Submarine Eruption in the Tonga Islands
Image

Submarine Eruption in the Tonga Islands

New land emerged in the South Pacific after the dramatic eruption of an undersea volcano.

Published Mar 28, 2009

Image of the Day Land Water Volcanoes Remote Sensing

Tassel n’Ajjer National Park
Image

Tassel n’Ajjer National Park

Part of the Sahara Desert, the rocky plateau is rich in geologic and human history.

Published Mar 27, 2011

Image of the Day Land Remote Sensing

Bigger Thunderstorms are Bringing More Rain to the Tropics
Image

Bigger Thunderstorms are Bringing More Rain to the Tropics

The increase around the wettest regions of Earth comes from a rise in large, well-organized thunderstorms.

Published Mar 26, 2015

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Remote Sensing

Kilimanjaro—The Shining Mountain
Image

Kilimanjaro—The Shining Mountain

Glaciers covered most of the summit during the first half of the 20th century, but have shrunk dramatically since then.

Published Mar 25, 2001

Image of the Day Land Snow and Ice

Lake Erie, Stirred Up
Image

Lake Erie, Stirred Up

Sediments and algae swirled across the lake surface on the first day of spring.

Published Mar 24, 2012

Image of the Day Land Water

Sensing Lightning from the Space Station
Image

Sensing Lightning from the Space Station

Bolts light up Earth’s atmosphere 4 million times a day. Scientists hope to observe a few.

Published Mar 23, 2014

Image of the Day Atmosphere Remote Sensing

First View from the New Landsat Satellite
Image

First View from the New Landsat Satellite

One of the satellite’s first uncalibrated images showed where the Front Range meets the Great Plains in Colorado.

Published Mar 22, 2013

Image of the Day Land Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence World of Change

Cat Island, Bahamas
Image

Cat Island, Bahamas

Once named San Salvador, the island may be where Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in the Americas.

Published Mar 21, 2011

Image of the Day Land Water

First ASTER Visible/Near-Infrared Image
Image

First ASTER Visible/Near-Infrared Image

A key instrument on NASA’s new Earth-observing Terra satellite observed the San Francisco River region of Brazil.

Published Mar 20, 2000

Image of the Day Land

Paraná River Floodplain, Brazil
Image

Paraná River Floodplain, Brazil

Merging rivers paint the landscape with muddy sediment.

Published Mar 19, 2012

Image of the Day Land

Greening the Princess Astrid Coast
Image

Greening the Princess Astrid Coast

Is it colored ice, a plankton bloom, both, or neither?

Published Mar 18, 2012

Image of the Day Life Water

Sprawling Shanghai
Image

Sprawling Shanghai

Shanghai is one of several cities on the Yangtze River Delta that has experienced unprecedented growth.

Published Mar 17, 2017

Image of the Day Land Human Presence World of Change

Harvesting Sunlight in California
Image

Harvesting Sunlight in California

Situated in the Mohave Desert, Ivanpah solar power station became the world’s largest thermal power tower system.

Published Mar 16, 2014

Image of the Day Human Presence

A Global View of Methane
Image

A Global View of Methane

Methane is one of the most potent—and surprising—greenhouse gases.

Published Mar 15, 2016

Image of the Day Atmosphere Human Presence

The Big Muddy, Western Edition
Image

The Big Muddy, Western Edition

Flowing past the city of Vancouver, the Fraser River delivers a thick plume of sediment to the Strait of Georgia.

Published Mar 14, 2012

Image of the Day Land Life Water

Wreckage and Recovery in Ishinomaki, Japan
Image

Wreckage and Recovery in Ishinomaki, Japan

Acquired in March 2011 and February 2012, these images document the recession of flood waters after the Tohoku tsunami.

Published Mar 13, 2012

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence World of Change Earthquakes

Sediments Betray Hidden Shipwrecks
Image

Sediments Betray Hidden Shipwrecks

Archaeologists and navigators have a new tool for locating shipwrecks in near-shore waters.

Published Mar 12, 2016

Image of the Day Water Human Presence Water Color

An EPIC Eclipse
Image

An EPIC Eclipse

The DSCOVR satellite captured the shadow of the Moon marching across Earth’s sunlit face.

Published Mar 11, 2016

Image of the Day Unique Imagery Remote Sensing

Closeup of Tsunami Damage, Rikuzentakata
Image

Closeup of Tsunami Damage, Rikuzentakata

Acquired 3 days after the Tohoku earthquake, this image shows the remains of a town that was nearly erased by the 2011 tsunami.

Published Mar 10, 2012

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence Earthquakes

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Earth
Image

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Earth

The Curiosity rover on Mars looked up and saw home on the horizon.

Published Mar 9, 2014

Image of the Day Remote Sensing

Ship Tracks off the California Coast
Image

Ship Tracks off the California Coast

The narrow clouds form when water vapor condenses around tiny particles of pollution.

Published Mar 8, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere

People Cause Most U.S. Wildfires
Image

People Cause Most U.S. Wildfires

Researchers also found that human-ignited fires tripled the length of the wildfire season.

Published Mar 7, 2017

Image of the Day Heat Land Human Presence

River Discharge Alters Arctic Sea Ice
Image

River Discharge Alters Arctic Sea Ice

Satellites and scientists capture the Mackenzie River in the act of warming the ocean and breaking up ice in the Beaufort Sea.

Published Mar 6, 2014

Image of the Day Heat Water

Eruption at Momotombo
Image

Eruption at Momotombo

The Nicaraguan volcano erupted for the first time in more than a century.

Published Mar 5, 2016

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Volcanoes

Earthquake Shakes Ice from New Zealand Glacier
Image

Earthquake Shakes Ice from New Zealand Glacier

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake that ravaged Christchurch also broke 30 million tons of ice off the Tasman Glacier.

Published Mar 4, 2011

Image of the Day Land Snow and Ice

Growth of Mountaintop Mine, West Virginia, 1984-2009
Image

Growth of Mountaintop Mine, West Virginia, 1984-2009

Landsat 5 observed the growth of one of the largest surface mines in the state it expanded from ridge to ridge.

Published Mar 3, 2010

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

The Solar Ring of Fire
Image

The Solar Ring of Fire

Earth-observing satellites follow the shadow of an annular eclipse.

Published Mar 2, 2017

Image of the Day Remote Sensing

Grounded in the Caspian Sea
Image

Grounded in the Caspian Sea

A diamond-shaped piece of ice is a stranger amid thin ice.

Published Mar 1, 2017

Image of the Day Water Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

February

Flying Through a Crack in the Ice
Image

Flying Through a Crack in the Ice

Scientists merged photographs and laser altimetry data to create a virtual journey through the crack in Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier.

Published Feb 29, 2012

Image of the Day Snow and Ice Sea and Lake Ice

Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Image

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Record-setting cold temperatures iced up harbors and waterways across the eastern United States.

Published Feb 28, 2015

Image of the Day Heat Severe Storms Snow and Ice Temperature Extremes

Argentina’s Changing Chaco Forest
Image

Argentina’s Changing Chaco Forest

Ranching and farming operations have left a distinctive grid on the landscape.

Published Feb 27, 2016

Image of the Day Human Presence

An Intersection of Land, Ice, Sea, and Clouds
Image

An Intersection of Land, Ice, Sea, and Clouds

Cold winter winds helped paint a lovely scene off the coast of Labrador and Newfoundland.

Published Feb 26, 2018

Image of the Day Land Water Snow and Ice

Northeastern USA Coastline in Sunglint
Image

Northeastern USA Coastline in Sunglint

Reflected sunlight highlights the Atlantic Ocean, Buzzards Bay, and Long Island Sound in this photo from the space station.

Published Feb 25, 2013

Image of the Day Land Water

Ash Plume from the Cleveland Volcano
Image

Ash Plume from the Cleveland Volcano

One of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands erupted in February 2001.

Published Feb 24, 2001

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land

Gypsum on Earth and Mars
Image

Gypsum on Earth and Mars

Mexico’s Cuatro Ciénegas Basin is one of the best places on Earth to investigate what life might have looked like on Mars.

Published Feb 23, 2013

Image of the Day Land Life

London at Night
Image

London at Night

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station take special care to acquire crisp night shots.

Published Feb 22, 2016

Image of the Day Human Presence

A Great Freeze Over the Great Lakes
Image

A Great Freeze Over the Great Lakes

Ice cover surpassed 80 percent for the first time in 20 years.

Published Feb 21, 2014

Image of the Day Water Snow and Ice Sea and Lake Ice

Astronauts’ New Window on the World
Image

Astronauts’ New Window on the World

Primarily designed to give astronauts a way to see the outside of the ISS, it also provides stunning panoramic views of Earth and space.

Published Feb 20, 2010

Image of the Day Remote Sensing

Volcanoes Erupt Simultaneously on Kamchatka
Image

Volcanoes Erupt Simultaneously on Kamchatka

False-color images show Klyuchevskaya and Bezymianny releasing plumes over the snowy Kamchatka Peninsula.

Published Feb 19, 2010

Image of the Day Land

Record Melting in Greenland during 2010
Image

Record Melting in Greenland during 2010

The ice-covered island’s melt season lasted 50 days longer than average.

Published Feb 18, 2011

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

A Long View of the Arctic
Image

A Long View of the Arctic

Colorful lakes and retreating glaciers are among the beautiful scenes waiting to be discovered within an image mosaic of the Arctic.

Published Feb 17, 2015

Image of the Day Land Snow and Ice

El Hierro Submarine Eruption
Image

El Hierro Submarine Eruption

The underwater volcano near the Canary Islands is growing ever closer to the water surface.

Published Feb 16, 2012

Image of the Day Water Volcanoes

Glacial “Aftershock” Spawns Antarctic Iceberg
Image

Glacial “Aftershock” Spawns Antarctic Iceberg

Pine Island Glacier has shed another block of ice into Antarctic waters.

Published Feb 15, 2017

Image of the Day Snow and Ice Sea and Lake Ice

Emi Koussi Volcano, Chad
Image

Emi Koussi Volcano, Chad

At 3,415 meters above sea level, the summit is the highest of Africa’s Sahara region.

Published Feb 14, 2011

Image of the Day Heat Land

A Rope Ahead of a Cold Front
Image

A Rope Ahead of a Cold Front

Downdrafts from thunderstorms sometimes fuel thin bands of cumulus clouds that race ahead of cold fronts.

Published Feb 13, 2016

Image of the Day Atmosphere

New Land on the Louisiana Coast
Image

New Land on the Louisiana Coast

While most of the Mississippi River’s delta plain is losing ground, new land is forming at the mouths of the Wax Lake Outlet and the Atchafalaya River.

Published Feb 12, 2015

Image of the Day Water World of Change

The Blue Marble
Image

The Blue Marble

Using a collection of satellite images and data, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of Earth’s land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic.

Published Feb 11, 2002

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water

Sun-Earth Selfie
Image

Sun-Earth Selfie

The STEREO A spacecraft looked back from the far side of the Sun to capture an image of Earth and Mercury.

Published Feb 10, 2015

Image of the Day Remote Sensing

CALIPSO Spies Polar Stratospheric Clouds
Image

CALIPSO Spies Polar Stratospheric Clouds

Also known as nacreous clouds, they play an important role in the depletion of stratospheric ozone.

Published Feb 9, 2011

Image of the Day Atmosphere

A Satellite’s View of Ship Pollution
Image

A Satellite’s View of Ship Pollution

Elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide popped out over certain shipping lanes when observed by Aura.

Published Feb 8, 2013

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Human Presence

Antarctica’s Changing Larsen Ice Shelf
Image

Antarctica’s Changing Larsen Ice Shelf

When this closely watched slab of floating ice births a giant iceberg, it will not be the first time it has seen dramatic change.

Published Feb 7, 2017

Image of the Day Heat Land Water Snow and Ice Sea and Lake Ice

Open- and Closed-Cells over the Pacific
Image

Open- and Closed-Cells over the Pacific

Whether a patch of clouds contains open or closed cells offers a clue about whether rain is falling below.

Published Feb 6, 2016

Image of the Day Atmosphere

New Lava Dome Grows on Shiveluch
Image

New Lava Dome Grows on Shiveluch

The summit of an active volcano is one of the most dynamic places on Earth, with changes apparent from one week to the next.

Published Feb 5, 2014

Image of the Day Land Volcanoes World of Change

High-Latitude Forest Fires Behave Differently in North America and Eurasia
Image

High-Latitude Forest Fires Behave Differently in North America and Eurasia

Research shows that very similar boreal landscapes produce very different types of fires.

Published Feb 4, 2015

Image of the Day Land Remote Sensing

Oil Seeps in the Gulf of Mexico
Image

Oil Seeps in the Gulf of Mexico

Oil slicks stood out in the glare of the Sun in May 2006 on the Gulf of Mexico.

Published Feb 3, 2009

Image of the Day Water

Our Reach Should Exceed Our Grasp
Image

Our Reach Should Exceed Our Grasp

Astronauts on the last voyage of the space shuttle Columbia captured this view of clouds over the Atlantic Ocean.

Published Feb 2, 2013

Image of the Day Water

Deforestation in Brazil
Image

Deforestation in Brazil

Just months after coming online, the ASTER instrument captured a view of forest clearing in Rondonia.

Published Feb 1, 2001

Image of the Day Land

January

Volcanic Fertilizer
Image

Volcanic Fertilizer

An eruption in the Aleutian Islands prompts a bloom of plankton 2000 miles downwind. The ocean soaks up carbon dioxide in the process, but not as much as you'd think.

Published Jan 31, 2013

Image of the Day Life Water

Satellites Spot Fields Idled by Drought
Image

Satellites Spot Fields Idled by Drought

Analysis of Landsat and MODIS data showed where agricultural production was affected by long-term drought in California.

Published Jan 30, 2015

Image of the Day Land

Melt Season in the Arctic Getting Longer
Image

Melt Season in the Arctic Getting Longer

Satellite data revealed changes in the average start of spring melting and the first autumn freeze.

Published Jan 29, 2010

Image of the Day Water Snow and Ice World of Change

A Decade of Change for Nitrogen Dioxide
Image

A Decade of Change for Nitrogen Dioxide

From 2005 to 2014, the Aura spacecraft observed increases in the air pollutant in some cities and decreases in others.

Published Jan 28, 2016

Image of the Day Atmosphere Human Presence

Yellow River Delta, 1989 and 2009
Image

Yellow River Delta, 1989 and 2009

Chinese engineers changed the main channel through the delta, changing the shape of the land at the river’s mouth.

Published Jan 27, 2010

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

India by Night and Day
Image

India by Night and Day

Two photos, taken 48 years apart, provide contrasting views of southern Asia.

Published Jan 26, 2015

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

The Electric Eye of Cyclone Bansi
Image

The Electric Eye of Cyclone Bansi

Lightning illuminated the center of the storm as the space station flew over at night.

Published Jan 25, 2015

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Tsunami Damage, Northwestern Sumatra
Image

Tsunami Damage, Northwestern Sumatra

Astronaut photographs illustrate the damage along the southwestern coast of Aceh Province, Indonesia.

Published Jan 24, 2005

Image of the Day Land Earthquakes

All Dry on the Western Front
Image

All Dry on the Western Front

From brown landscapes to snow-free mountains, California was startlingly dry as a serious drought prompted a state of emergency.

Published Jan 23, 2014

Image of the Day Land Water Drought World of Change

Marine Layer Clouds off the California Coast
Image

Marine Layer Clouds off the California Coast

The Suomi NPP VIIRS “day-night band” makes it possible to view low clouds even at night—something earlier satellites have had difficulty doing.

Published Jan 22, 2013

Image of the Day Atmosphere Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence World of Change

The London Array
Image

The London Array

The world’s largest wind farm was planted just off of the mouth of the River Thames.

Published Jan 21, 2014

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Human Presence

Satellites Map Tsunami Wave Height
Image

Satellites Map Tsunami Wave Height

Sent into orbit to record the shape of the ocean’s surface, two satellites helped scientists understand a deadly tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

Published Jan 20, 2005

Image of the Day Water

Channel Beneath Pine Island Glacier
Image

Channel Beneath Pine Island Glacier

Scientists discovered a deepwater channel that could funnel warm water to the glacier's underbelly and melt it from below.

Published Jan 19, 2011

Image of the Day Heat Water Snow and Ice Sea and Lake Ice

Where Are Arctic Soils Defrosting?
Image

Where Are Arctic Soils Defrosting?

A holey, Swiss cheese-like landscape, thermokarst is distributed widely across the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere.

Published Jan 18, 2017

Image of the Day Heat Land Life

North Col of Mount Everest
Image

North Col of Mount Everest

This astronaut photograph highlights the northern approach to the world’s tallest mountain.

Published Jan 17, 2011

Image of the Day Land Snow and Ice

Faults in Xinjiang
Image

Faults in Xinjiang

Colliding continents and cracks in the Earth’s crust make for some remarkable scenery in western China.

Published Jan 16, 2014

Image of the Day Land

An Atlantic Hurricane…in January
Image

An Atlantic Hurricane…in January

Alex is the earliest hurricane in the North Atlantic since 1938, and one of the farthest northeast on record.

Published Jan 15, 2016

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Severe Storms

Different Records, Same Warming Trend
Image

Different Records, Same Warming Trend

Four independent records are unequivocal: the world has warmed since 1880, and the past decade has been the warmest on record.

Published Jan 14, 2011

Image of the Day Heat Human Presence

New Seafloor Map Helps Scientists Find New Features
Image

New Seafloor Map Helps Scientists Find New Features

The recent discovery of the Mammerickx Microplate was made possible by new satellite-derived maps of the ocean floor.

Published Jan 13, 2016

Image of the Day Water Remote Sensing

Cloud Streets over the Bering Sea
Image

Cloud Streets over the Bering Sea

Most of us prefer our winter roads free of ice, but some cloud formations depend on it.

Published Jan 12, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere Water Snow and Ice

Where the Trees Are
Image

Where the Trees Are

The National Biomass and Carbon Dataset reveals the location and the carbon storage of forests in the United States.

Published Jan 11, 2012

Image of the Day Land Life

Booming Growth in Phoenix Suburbs
Image

Booming Growth in Phoenix Suburbs

Acquired in 1989 and 2009, these images show rapid development of Chandler, Arizona, a “boomburb.”

Published Jan 10, 2010

Image of the Day Land Human Presence World of Change

Spiral of Plankton
Image

Spiral of Plankton

Late in 2013, a mid-summer bloom of phytoplankton gave color to a whirling eddy south of Australia.

Published Jan 9, 2014

Image of the Day Water

Cold-water Upwelling in the Gulf of Tehuantepec
Image

Cold-water Upwelling in the Gulf of Tehuantepec

In the winter, strong winds drive surface waters away from the shore, and cold water from the deep ocean wells up to replace it.

Published Jan 8, 2005

Image of the Day Heat Life Water

Lining Up the Sun, Moon, and ISS
Image

Lining Up the Sun, Moon, and ISS

While the Moon was busy passing between the Sun and Earth for an eclipse in 2011, the space station made a cameo.

Published Jan 7, 2011

Image of the Day Atmosphere Human Presence

Floating Forests Revealed
Image

Floating Forests Revealed

Kelp forests change frequently, and often out of sight from scientists. Infrared imagery changes that.

Published Jan 6, 2015

Image of the Day Life Water Remote Sensing

Harratt Lunayyir
Image

Harratt Lunayyir

In northwestern Saudi Arabia lies a field of volcanic lava that contains some 50 cones from the past 10,000 years.

Published Jan 5, 2011

Image of the Day Land

Fire and the Future of Yellowstone
Image

Fire and the Future of Yellowstone

More than 20 years after intense fire scorched this national park, the ecosystem is still recovering.

Published Jan 4, 2012

Image of the Day Land World of Change

Tidal Flats and Channels, Long Island, Bahamas
Image

Tidal Flats and Channels, Long Island, Bahamas

The islands are situated on large depositional platforms composed mainly of carbonate sediments and ringed by reefs.

Published Jan 3, 2011

Image of the Day Land Water

Moon Phases Over the Persian Gulf
Image

Moon Phases Over the Persian Gulf

These satellite images illustrate the effects of moonlight on viewing this desert region.

Published Jan 2, 2013

Image of the Day Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence Remote Sensing

Auroras Light Up the Antarctic Night
Image

Auroras Light Up the Antarctic Night

The “southern lights” were bright enough to illuminate the ice below.

Published Jan 1, 2013

Image of the Day Atmosphere Fires Unique Imagery Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

December

Australia’s Ephemeral Lake Mackay
Image

Australia’s Ephemeral Lake Mackay

Water in Australia's salt lakes can be fleeting, but provides vital wetland habitat for plants and animals.

Published Dec 31, 2014

Image of the Day Land Water

Tsunami Strikes Sri Lanka
Image

Tsunami Strikes Sri Lanka

On December 26, 2004, tsunamis swept across the Indian Ocean, spawned by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Sumatra.

Published Dec 30, 2004

Image of the Day Land Water Earthquakes

Seafloor Features Are Revealed by the Gravity Field
Image

Seafloor Features Are Revealed by the Gravity Field

Scientists read the bumps on the ocean surface to understand the shape of the seafloor below.

Published Dec 29, 2015

Image of the Day Water Remote Sensing

Hole Punch Clouds over West Virginia
Image

Hole Punch Clouds over West Virginia

Cold winter conditions set the stage for these unusual clouds that can form due to airplane traffic.

Published Dec 28, 2010

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Gas Drilling, North Dakota
Image

Gas Drilling, North Dakota

Cities and people are scarce in northwestern North Dakota, but nighttime satellite imagery shows the Bakken Formation aglow with brightly-lit drilling equipment.

Published Dec 27, 2012

Image of the Day Land Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence

A Perfect (Dust) Storm
Image

A Perfect (Dust) Storm

In April 2001, researchers watched with surprise as dust from an Asian storm crossed the Pacific and reached the eastern United States.

Published Dec 26, 2007

Image of the Day Atmosphere

O Christmas Tree! from Space
Image

O Christmas Tree! from Space

Shaped like an evergreen conifer, Lake Dukan is the largest lake in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Published Dec 25, 2018

Image of the Day Water Human Presence

All of You on the Good Earth
Image

All of You on the Good Earth

These iconic photos are not new, but their message never gets old.

Published Dec 24, 2018

Image of the Day Life Human Presence

The Alphabet from Orbit: Letter J
Image

The Alphabet from Orbit: Letter J

J brings us joy when we view it from space.

Published Dec 23, 2015

Image of the Day Land Life Water Remote Sensing

A Lava Lamp Look at the Atlantic
Image

A Lava Lamp Look at the Atlantic

The Gulf Stream is a warm current amidst the cool North Atlantic. But the pattern is hardly uniform.

Published Dec 22, 2013

Image of the Day Heat Water Remote Sensing

Terra Launches!
Image

Terra Launches!

The flagship of NASA’s modern Earth-observing satellite fleet launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on December 18, 1999.

Published Dec 21, 1999

Image of the Day Remote Sensing

City Lights of Australia, or Not
Image

City Lights of Australia, or Not

What are those lights in the Outback?

Published Dec 20, 2012

Image of the Day Land Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence Remote Sensing World of Change

The Arctic Is Absorbing More Sunlight
Image

The Arctic Is Absorbing More Sunlight

Satellites confirm that the Arctic has been absorbing more solar radiation over the past 15 years, a trend that coincides with a decline in sea ice and increase in open water.

Published Dec 19, 2014

Image of the Day Heat Snow and Ice

Terra Turns Ten: Snow, Clouds, and Sunlight
Image

Terra Turns Ten: Snow, Clouds, and Sunlight

This trio of global maps illustrates how snow and clouds make Earth more reflective.

Published Dec 18, 2009

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat Land Snow and Ice

Even from Space, Holidays Shine Brightly
Image

Even from Space, Holidays Shine Brightly

Satellite data reveals increases in December holiday lighting in the United States, mostly in the suburbs.

Published Dec 17, 2014

Image of the Day Unique Imagery Human Presence Remote Sensing

First Global Image from VIIRS
Image

First Global Image from VIIRS

Looking down from 512 miles, the newly launched NPP satellite offers up its first gap-free view of Earth.

Published Dec 16, 2011

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Remote Sensing

Sulfur Dioxide Down over China; Up over India
Image

Sulfur Dioxide Down over China; Up over India

A decade of satellite observations show how levels of a common air pollutant have changed over Asian skies.

Published Dec 15, 2015

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Old Night Vision Meets New
Image

Old Night Vision Meets New

New images from Suomi NPP are an order of magnitude better than previous satellite views of city lights.

Published Dec 14, 2012

Image of the Day Land Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence Remote Sensing World of Change

Rare Snow in the U.S. Deep South
Image

Rare Snow in the U.S. Deep South

Several inches of wet snow fell across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in December 2008.

Published Dec 13, 2008

Image of the Day Land Snow and Ice

A Year in the Life of Carbon Dioxide
Image

A Year in the Life of Carbon Dioxide

NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 has compiled its first year of data and started quantifying the cycles of emission and absorption of the greenhouse gas.

Published Dec 12, 2015

Image of the Day Remote Sensing

Cloud Towers
Image

Cloud Towers

Impressive thunderclouds run along the spine of the Indonesian island of Flores, a result of ocean breezes and steep mountains.

Published Dec 11, 2013

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Global Warming Mapped
Image

Global Warming Mapped

The average global temperature has increased by about 0.8°Celsius since 1880, and two-thirds of the warming occurred after 1975.

Published Dec 10, 2010

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat Land Water Human Presence

Dune movement around Aorounga
Image

Dune movement around Aorounga

Photographs taken by astronauts on the ISS in 2003 and 2013 show the evolution of a dune field in Chad.

Published Dec 9, 2013

Image of the Day Land

Satellites Track Yellowstone’s Underground Heat
Image

Satellites Track Yellowstone’s Underground Heat

Landsat instruments have peered into the hot-water plumbing beneath some of the park’s famous monuments.

Published Dec 8, 2011

Image of the Day Heat Land

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Image

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

An astronaut captured this photo of the historic stretch of southern coastline of Oahu.

Published Dec 7, 2009

Image of the Day Human Presence

Manicouagan Impact Structure, Quebec
Image

Manicouagan Impact Structure, Quebec

The impact that formed the lake is thought to have occurred about 200 million years ago and may have caused a mass extinction event.

Published Dec 6, 2001

Image of the Day Land

South Shetland Islands and Antarctica
Image

South Shetland Islands and Antarctica

Astronauts on the ISS captured an unusual, airplane-like view of the Antarctic Peninsula and nearby islands.

Published Dec 5, 2011

Image of the Day Land Water

Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves
Image

Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves

Like islands of stone surrounded by a sea of sand, the Aïr Mountains sustain a vibrant pocket of life in the Sahara.

Published Dec 4, 2013

Image of the Day Land Remote Sensing

First Image of Earth from the International Space Station
Image

First Image of Earth from the International Space Station

Astronauts used the Electrical Still Camera (ESC) to photograph a mass of storm clouds during Expedition 1.

Published Dec 3, 2000

Image of the Day Atmosphere

SO2 Pollution Controls Bring Results
Image

SO2 Pollution Controls Bring Results

Scientists using a NASA satellite found that sulfur dioxide levels in the vicinity of major coal-fired power plants in the U.S. have fallen by half since 2005.

Published Dec 2, 2011

Image of the Day Atmosphere Human Presence World of Change

Amazon River in Sunglint
Image

Amazon River in Sunglint

Astronauts use the Sun’s reflection point to reveal features that are otherwise difficult or impossible to see.

Published Dec 1, 2014

Image of the Day Water

November

Athabasca Oil Sands
Image

Athabasca Oil Sands

The clay, sand, and other minerals coated in thick, viscous bitumen are a source of oil, economic growth, and environmental concern.

Published Nov 30, 2011

Image of the Day Land Human Presence World of Change

Salar de Atacama, Chile
Image

Salar de Atacama, Chile

In perhaps the driest place on Earth, water still shapes the landscape.

Published Nov 29, 2011

Image of the Day Land

Thanksgiving and New York City
Image

Thanksgiving and New York City

The most populous city in the United States has several connections to this national holiday.

Published Nov 28, 2013

Image of the Day Land Unique Imagery Human Presence

Look Again: It’s Not Snow
Image

Look Again: It’s Not Snow

These white mounds are the world’s largest gypsum dune field, centerpiece of the White Sands National Monument.

Published Nov 27, 2016

Image of the Day Land

Forest Change in Paraguay
Image

Forest Change in Paraguay

Between 1990 and 2000, Paraguay lost about 13 percent of its forests, including nearly 40 percent of the Atlantic Forest.

Published Nov 26, 2009

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Soil Moisture in the United States
Image

Soil Moisture in the United States

Views from the ground and from space are helping scientists understand how soil moisture affects U.S. agriculture.

Published Nov 25, 2015

Image of the Day Water Remote Sensing

Hurricane Otto
Image

Hurricane Otto

The late-season storm struck southern Nicaragua.

Published Nov 24, 2016

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Severe Storms

VIIRS First Light
Image

VIIRS First Light

A new Earth-observing satellite opened its eyes for the first time and captured this natural-color view of eastern North America.

Published Nov 23, 2011

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Remote Sensing

Maupiti Island
Image

Maupiti Island

Low-profile fringing islands and coral reefs surround a relatively tall central island.

Published Nov 22, 2009

Image of the Day Land Water

Settling on the Coast
Image

Settling on the Coast

Cape Cod is a haven for rocks and people who have washed up on American shores.

Published Nov 21, 2010

Image of the Day Land

Evidence of Destruction in Tacloban, Philippines
Image

Evidence of Destruction in Tacloban, Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan’s winds and storm surge caused widespread damage to the coastal city.

Published Nov 20, 2013

Image of the Day Land Water Severe Storms Human Presence World of Change

Landsat 8 Detects New Deforestation in Peru
Image

Landsat 8 Detects New Deforestation in Peru

Free, open-access imagery helps scientists monitor remote areas and protect tropical forests.

Published Nov 19, 2013

Image of the Day Land Human Presence World of Change

Plumes from Pavlof Volcano
Image

Plumes from Pavlof Volcano

In November 2014, Alaska’s most active volcano rumbled back to life.

Published Nov 18, 2014

Image of the Day Atmosphere Heat Land Volcanoes

Fog in Argentina’s Lake District
Image

Fog in Argentina’s Lake District

Landsat 5 captured a ring of radiation fog lingering in valley bottoms and above lakes in northwestern Patagonia.

Published Nov 17, 2012

Image of the Day Land World of Change

High Resolution View of Pine Island Glacier
Image

High Resolution View of Pine Island Glacier

Pine Island Glacier has undergone a steady thinning in recent decades. In December 2000, satellites detected a wide new crack.

Published Nov 16, 2001

Image of the Day Land Water Sea and Lake Ice

Dark Sky Parks
Image

Dark Sky Parks

Areas recognized for their pristine dark skies are the perfect place to catch a glimpse of celestial phenomena.

Published Nov 15, 2014

Image of the Day Human Presence

Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Fall in China, Rise in India
Image

Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Fall in China, Rise in India

Pollution controls can work even as coal-usage continues.

Published Nov 14, 2017

Image of the Day Atmosphere Human Presence World of Change

Mýrdalsjökull Then and Now
Image

Mýrdalsjökull Then and Now

Climate and volcanoes transform an ice cap in Iceland.

Published Nov 13, 2014

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

New Sunspot Cycle Begins
Image

New Sunspot Cycle Begins

After a slow start, a pair of sunspots in late 2008 signaled an upswing in Solar Cycle 24.

Published Nov 12, 2008

Image of the Day Remote Sensing

Eruption at Mount Merapi, Indonesia
Image

Eruption at Mount Merapi, Indonesia

The volcano released sulfur dioxide, a colorless gas that can harm human health and cool Earth’s climate.

Published Nov 11, 2010

Image of the Day Atmosphere Volcanoes

Katabatic Winds Rake Terra Nova Bay
Image

Katabatic Winds Rake Terra Nova Bay

The scene provides a glimpse of the persistent and fierce downslope winds that blow from the interior of the Antarctic ice sheet toward the coast.

Published Nov 10, 2009

Image of the Day Land Life Water Snow and Ice

Global View of Fine Aerosol Particles
Image

Global View of Fine Aerosol Particles

Solid particles and liquid droplets in the air come in a range of sizes, but those smaller than 2.5 micrometers pose the greatest risk to human health.

Published Nov 9, 2010

Image of the Day Atmosphere Human Presence

Satellite Spots Massive Tonzang Landslide
Image

Satellite Spots Massive Tonzang Landslide

Heavy rainfall from tropical storm Komen triggered a large landslide in Myanmar (Burma).

Published Nov 8, 2015

Image of the Day Land Water Landslides

Counting Carbon Over Southern California
Image

Counting Carbon Over Southern California

NASA’s new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 calibrated its sensors by taking data from an area where ground stations could provide ground truth.

Published Nov 7, 2014

Image of the Day Atmosphere Remote Sensing

Comparing the Winds of Sandy and Katrina
Image

Comparing the Winds of Sandy and Katrina

The scenes of devastation and wreckage that these two hurricanes left behind were tragically similar, but the meteorology was very different.

Published Nov 6, 2012

Image of the Day Atmosphere Severe Storms

Hybrid Eclipse Shades Africa
Image

Hybrid Eclipse Shades Africa

This rare event merged annular and total eclipses. It won't happen again until 2172.

Published Nov 5, 2013

Image of the Day Heat

Upsala Glacier Retreat
Image

Upsala Glacier Retreat

A photograph by an astronaut on the International Space Station shows a progressively shrinking glacier in the North Patagonian Icefield.

Published Nov 4, 2013

Image of the Day Snow and Ice

Erebus Ice Tongue
Image

Erebus Ice Tongue

The edge of this Antarctic glacier protrudes from the coast of Ross Island with a long, narrow, jagged sheet of ice.

Published Nov 3, 2004

Image of the Day Heat Land Water Snow and Ice

Studying Chesapeake Bay from Above
Image

Studying Chesapeake Bay from Above

Ships, airplanes, and satellites all play a role in monitoring Chesapeake water quality, algae blooms, and dead zones.

Published Nov 2, 2016

Image of the Day Water Remote Sensing

Living Large in Hawaii
Image

Living Large in Hawaii

Geologists estimate that Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, has erupted about once every six years for the past three millennia.

Published Nov 1, 2015

Image of the Day Land