Mastheads

Mastheads

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)

Published: December 5, 2016

Location: Earth

Source: GNSS network

Global Real-Time GNSS Network

NASA’s Crustal Dynamics Data Information System (CDDIS) supports the International GNSS Service (IGS) Real-Time Service. The symbols on this map indicate the current locations of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) sites providing real-time “streams.”

Learn more about global space geodesy networks and techniques

Real-Time GNSS Data and Products

The CDDIS “caster” disseminates both data and derived products, such as corrections for GNSS satellite orbits and clocks in real-time. These data and products enable precise point positioning and related applications such as time synchronization and disaster monitoring.

Learn more about GNSS real-time data and products

Deadly Heat Wave in India

Published: November 28, 2016

Location: Middle East, India, Asia

Source: Terra/CERES

CERES

The Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) sensor on NASA’s Terra satellite measures the amount of energy emitted by Earth’s surface, oceans, and atmosphere. The Indian heat wave shown here was among the five deadliest on record, claiming more than 2,500 lives by 4 June 2015.

Explore CERES data at NASA's Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC)

Detecting Emitted Radiation from Earth

In this image, emitted radiation is depicted in shades of purple and is measured in watts per square meter. Warmer areas emitting the most longwave radiation are lighter; cooler areas emitting less radiation are darker.

Learn more about the CERES instrument

Gridded Population of the World (GPW) Version 4

Published: November 21, 2016

Location: Global

Source: Census Data

Mapping Global Population

NASA's Gridded Population of the World (GPW) v4 collection provides global population count and density distribution estimates for the years 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2020 in a gridded format that can be easily combined with satellite imagery and Earth science data.

Explore population maps at NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC).

Using GPW v4

The world's population is unevenly distributed. Areas of higher population, indicated by darker colors in GPW v4, tend to be located near reliable sources of fresh water, fertile soils, and hospitable climates. Very hot or cold locations and deserts tend to have much lower populations.

Learn more about GPW v4

Tracking Ocean Currents from Space

Published: November 16, 2016

Location: North Atlantic Ocean

Source: GRACE/multiple instruments

Using GRACE to Track Ocean Currents

NASA and university scientists developed a new way to use GRACE measurements to track changes in Atlantic Ocean currents. This opens a path to better monitoring and understanding of how ocean circulation is changing and what the changes may mean for future climate. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Read more about this image

GRACE

NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission accurately maps variations in Earth's gravity field. GRACE maps Earth's gravity field by making accurate measurements of the distance between the two identical orbiting GRACE satellites using GPS and a microwave ranging system.

Learn more about GRACE

Tropical Storm Ma-on

Published: November 14, 2016

Location: North Pacific Ocean east of Guam

Source: Joint NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP/VIIRS

Additional Information

Tropical Storm Ma-on

Tropical Storm Ma-on formed from a tropical depression on 10 November and briefly had tropical storm-level winds of about 64 kph/40 mph. Tropical Storm Ma-on is one of many events you can search using the new Worldview/EONET Events feature.

Learn more about the Worldview/EONET Events feature

VIIRS

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) collects measurements of clouds, aerosols, ocean color, surface temperature, fires, and albedo. VIIRS is one of 5 instruments aboard the joint NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) spacecraft.

Explore VIIRS imagery

Sensing Saharan Mountains

Published: November 7, 2016

Location: Chad, Africa

Source: Sentinel-1

Sentinel-1

Sentinel-1 is a European Space Agency mission that creates images using synthetic aperture radar (SAR). SAR provides all-weather, day-and-night imagery of Earth’s surface. Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B data are available through NASA's Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center (ASF DAAC).

Explore Sentinel-1 data at NASA's ASF DAAC

The Tallest Mountain in the Sahara

The extinct volcano in this Sentinel-1A image is Emi Koussi, which rises to 3,415 m. The curved lines are ridges shaped by desert winds. The false colors indicate surface type. For example, blue indicates radar scattering off a smooth surface such as sand. Credit: Copernicus Sentinel data 2016.

Learn more about the Sentinel-1 mission

Phytoplankton in the Falklands

Published: October 31, 2016

Location: Falkland Islands, South Atlantic Ocean

Source: Aqua/MODIS

Additional Information

Sensing Ocean Life

The green swirls in this image off the Falkland Islands are phytoplankton being carried by the Malvinas current. The Malvinas current travels north, mixing cold water from the Southern Ocean into the subtropical waters of the Argentine coast.

View similar images at NASA's Ocean Biology Distributed Active Archive Center (OB.DAAC).

MODIS

This image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), which is one of six instruments aboard NASA’s Aqua Earth observing satellite. MODIS measures physical properties of the atmosphere, and biological and physical properties of the oceans and land.

Explore Aqua/MODIS ocean color data at OB.DAAC.

Worldview Events Tab

Published: October 24, 2016

Location: West of Pueblo, CO, USA

Source: Terra/MODIS

Additional Information

Worldview Events Tab

The Junkins Fire started on October 17 and burned more than 17,000 acres. This fire is one of more than 30 natural events you can view using the new Events tab on Worldview. The Events tab is a collaboration between Worldview and the Earth Observatory Natural Event Tracker (EONET).

Learn more about the new Worldview Events tab

Worldview

EOSDIS Worldview allows you to interactively browse global, full-resolution satellite imagery and then download the underlying data. Most of the 200+ products available through Worldview are updated within three hours of observation.

Explore the world with Worldview

ABoVE

Published: July 4, 2016

Location: Yellowknife, Canada

Source: Terra & Aqua/MODIS

ABoVE

This image is part of the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE). ABoVE seeks a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems and society in Arctic and Boreal regions. ABoVE data are available through NASA's Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center (ORNL DAAC).

Learn more about ABoVE at ORNL DAAC

Sensing Wildfires from Space

The colors on this image show how wildfires progressed from 6 June (yellow areas) to 22 September (red areas) in 2014. Wildfires can be detected and tracked in near real-time using data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument aboard NASA's Terra and Aqua Earth observing satellites.

Explore more images and data from this data set at ORNL DAAC

Soil Moisture & Hurricane Matthew

Published: October 17, 2016

Location: East Coast, USA

Source: SMAP/Radiometer

Additional Information

SMAP

NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite was launched 31 January 2015 to measure surface soil moisture and freeze-thaw state. SMAP data are available through NASA's National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs).

Learn more about SMAP

Soil Moisture and Hurricane Matthew

The bands of color in this image indicate areas scanned by SMAP's radiometer during the passage of Hurricane Matthew. Blue colors indicate areas of increased soil moisture; yellow and green colors indicate areas with less soil moisture; areas without colored bands were not scanned.

Explore this SMAP dataset at NASA's NSIDC DAAC

VIIRS Land Products

Published: October 10, 2016

Location: Northern Africa, Middle East, SE Asia

Source: Suomi-NPP/VIIRS

New VIIRS Land Products

The VIIRS Land Science Investigator-led Processing System is reprocessing and forward processing VIIRS land environmental data records to produce high quality land products, which are expected to be available in Oct/Nov through NASA’s Level 1 and Atmosphere Archive and Distribution System (LAADS).

Learn more about VIIRS land products

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)

This 8-day composite VIIRS image shows surface reflectance at 1km resolution. Brown areas are desert/sparse vegetation, green areas are vegetated, and white areas are either clouds or snow-covered mountains.

Learn more about NASA surface reflectance products

Sensing Soil Moisture Using AirMOSS

Published: October 3, 2016

Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Source: Gulfstream III aircraft/AirMOSS

AirMOSS

This image shows radar backscatter from the Airborne Microwave Observatory of Subcanopy and Subsurface (AirMOSS) radar instrument rendered as a color image. AirMOSS uses an ultra-high frequency synthetic aperture radar to measure root-zone soil moisture.

Learn more about AirMOSS

The AirMOSS Radar

The AirMOSS radar is a P-band fully polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can penetrate through vegetation canopies and soil to depths of approximately 1.2 meters. AirMOSS data are available through NASA’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center (ORNL DAAC).

Explore AirMOSS data at ORNL DAAC

Looking at Global Vegetation

Published: September 26, 2016

Location: Europe, Africa, Asia

Source: MEaSUREs Vegetation Index and Phenology (VIP)

VIP Collection Now Available

The MEaSUREs 2006 Vegetation Index and Phenology (VIP) collection is now being distributed by NASA's Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). This data collection provides users with global vegetation information from 1981 to 2014.

Learn more about the VIP data collection

Sensing Global Vegetation

This image shows vegetation using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) layer of the VIP 7-day product. Vegetation “greenness” ranges from sparser vegetation in light green to healthier vegetation in dark green. Brown areas are those with little to no vegetation (such as deserts).

Read more about the six VIP products on the LP DAAC website

Two Tropical Cyclones Head Toward Hawaii

Published: September 20, 2016

Location: Pacific Ocean

Source: GCOM-W1/AMSR2

Additional Information

Rare Storms in Hawaii

On August 28, 2016 two tropical cyclones, Madeleine and Lester, approached the Hawaiian Islands. This rare event raised concerns for flash flooding and high surf for several of the eastern islands. Both storms skirted the Hawaiian Islands, bringing only high waves and rain.

Explore hydrology data at NASA's GHRC

Sensing Water Vapor

This LANCE near real-time daily columnar water vapor retrieval image was derived from measurements taken by the AMSR2 instrument aboard the GCOM-W1 satellite. These data are available through the Rain and Ocean data product at NASA’s Global Hydrology Resource Center Distributed Active Archive Center (GHRC DAAC).

Learn more about LANCE AMSR2 near real-time data

Hermine Comes Ashore

Published: September 12, 2016

Location: Southeast U.S.

Source: Giovanni/GPM imagery + NLDAS wind speed data

Hurricane Hermine Hits

Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since 2005. This image combines Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) rainfall data (color map) with North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) wind speed data (black arrows) at the time of Hermine’s landfall, approximately 2 AM EDT on September 2, 2016.

Explore hydrology data at NASA's Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC)

Exploring Data using Giovanni

The Giovanni web application provides a simple, intuitive way to visualize, analyze, and access vast amounts of Earth science remote sensing data without having to download the data. This image was made with a new Giovanni analysis feature: overlay maps. This feature is in its final development phase and will be available to the public shortly.

Analyze data with Giovanni

Data for Positioning and Earth Rotation

Published: September 6, 2016

Location: Earth

Source: GNSS, SLR, VLBI, DORIS stations

Global Space Geodetic System Network

The symbols on this map indicate the current network locations of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS; red), Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR; green), and Doppler Orbitography and Radio-positioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS; orange) sites along with Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI; blue) antennas.

Learn more about global space geodesy networks and techniques

The International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF)

The ITRF is an accurate, stable set of station positions and velocities that allows researchers to measure change and link measurements over space, time, and evolving technologies. A new version was released in 2016 by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) based on measurements from this geodetic network.

Learn more about the ITRF

Sensing Ice Clouds

Published: August 29, 2016

Location: Earth

Source: ISS/CATS

Mean Ice Cloud Top Height

The Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) on the International Space Station (ISS) provides profile measurements of atmospheric clouds and aerosols. This image shows mean ice cloud top heights between March 2015 and March 2016. Green, yellow, and red colors indicate higher cloud tops; blue areas indicate lower cloud tops.

Explore CATS data at NASA's Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC)

Sensing Ice Clouds using CATS

Between March 2015 and March 2016, CATS detected mean ice cloud tops as high as 17 to 18 km (about 10.5 to 11 miles high). Higher ice cloud top heights are most commonly seen in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) along either side of the equator (broad green areas).

Learn more about the CATS instrument

Looking at Global Amphibian Density

Published: August 22, 2016

Location: Earth

Source: 2004 Global Amphibian Assessment

Measuring Amphibian Density

The Global Amphibian Richness Grids represent the number of amphibian species at a 1-km grid cell resolution. Dark green areas indicate a high number of amphibian species; white areas (such as in the Sahara Desert) indicate no species. Map credit: CIESIN Columbia University, July 2016.

Explore Global Amphibian Richness Grids at NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC)

Keeping Track of the World's Species

This map is part of NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center's (SEDAC's) Gridded Species Distribution collection, which shows the global distribution of amphibians and mammals. Species are grouped by class and family, as well as into three major threat categories: critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable.

Learn more about the Gridded Species Distribution collection at SEDAC

Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly

Published: August 15, 2016

Location: Earth

Source: Multiple Satellites/Multiple Instruments

Defining Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

Sea surface temperature anomaly is the difference between current conditions as defined by the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis (OSTIA) and normal conditions as defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pathfinder mission V5 climatology.

Learn more about the GHRSST at NASA's Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC)

Interpreting Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Anomalies

In this image, temperature anomalies range between +3 degrees Celsius (red) to -3 degrees Celsius (purple). SST anomalies are returning to normal in Tropical Pacific, with large positive anomalies still in the Northern Pacific.

Learn more about SST at PO.DAAC

Sensing With SAR

Published: August 8, 2016

Location: Cook Inlet, Alaska, USA

Source: Sentinel-1A/SAR

The color of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

In this false-color Sentinel-1A SAR image, bare surfaces such as soil or rock are shown as red and orange. The buildings of Anchorage at the right side of the image are yellowish. Vegetation is green. Blue indicates calm water, ice, or other smooth surfaces. Copernicus Sentinel data 2015.

Learn more about the many applications of Sentinal-1A data

Sentinel-1A

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Sentinel-1A satellite launched on April 3, 2014. Through an agreement between NASA and ESA, NASA's Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center (ASF DAAC) distributes the complete ESA archive of Sentinel-1A SAR data.

Explore Sentinel-1A data at NASA's ASF DAAC

Lava Mountain Fire

Published: August 1, 2016

Location: Lava Mountain, WY, USA

Source: Terra/ASTER

The Lava Mountain Fire

The Lava Mountain Fire in Wyoming covered more than 10,000 acres when this image was captured by the ASTER instrument aboard NASA's Terra Earth observing satellite. ASTER's thermal infrared band shows active fire hotspots in yellow. Image: NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.

See more ASTER images

ASTER

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument aboard NASA's Terra Earth observing satellite images Earth in 14 spectral bands, from visible to thermal infrared wavelengths. ASTER is managed by a joint U.S./Japan science team.

Explore ASTER data at NASA's Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC).

Sunglint in the Red Sea

Published: July 25, 2016

Location: Red Sea

Source: Aqua/MODIS

Additional Information

Sunglint

Sunglint is the reflection of sunlight off the surface of water that is captured by a detector aboard a satellite. Scientists use sunglint to help detect phenomena such as the seepage of methane gas from the ocean floor and oil slicks on the water surface. Image: Norman Kuring, NASA/GSFC Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG).

Explore similar images in the OBPG Ocean Color Image Gallery

Sunglint in Aqua MODIS images

Sunglint in images captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Aqua Earth observing satellite are slightly to the west of the swath's center line since Aqua crosses the equator in the early afternoon when the sun is west of the sensor.

Explore MODIS Aqua data at NASA's Ocean Biology Distributed Active Archive Center (OB.DAAC)

Soil Moisture in the US

Published: July 18, 2016

Location: Central USA

Source: SMAP

Additional Information

Surface Soil Moisture

This surface soil moisture image is created from observations from the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and are merged with soil moisture estimates from a land surface model. Oranges, yellows, and greens show areas of low soil moisture; blues and greys indicate high levels of soil moisture.

Daily data can be obtained from the NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center DAAC

Drought Status

Large parts of Central California are rated as experiencing Extreme or Exceptional Drought. However, dry conditions are typical this time of year. The high moisture levels across the Midwestern states are likely a result of heavy rains that fell during this week, providing relief to some areas of the upper Midwest that are rated as Unusually Dry.

View U.S. drought status at the National Drought Mitigation Center

Sensing the Pacific Northwest

Published: July 11, 2016

Location: Pacific Northwest, US/Canada

Source: Aqua/MODIS

Additional Information

Sensing the Pacific Northwest

This Moderate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) true-color image of the Pacific Northwest shows northwestern Washington state along with the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Canada. Most of the white over the land is snow, with fog and marine stratocumulus clouds over the Pacific Ocean just offshore.

Explore MODIS data at NASA's Level 1 and Atmosphere Archive and Distribution System (LAADS)

MODIS

The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra and Aqua Earth observing satellites captures data in 36 spectral bands between 0.405 and 14.385 µm, and acquires data at three spatial resolutions -- 250m, 500m, and 1,000m. MODIS views the entire Earth's surface every one to two days.

Learn more about MODIS

Sensing Land Surface Temperature

Published: June 27, 2016

Location: Northeastern North America

Source: Aqua/MODIS

Surface Urban Heat Islands

Cooler land surface temperatures (LSTs) of rural areas appear green while warmer impervious surfaces (such as concrete and asphalt) in cities appear red. The difference in LST between cooler rural areas and warmer urban areas is easily seen in major cities located near the Great Lakes, such as Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Toronto.

Read about how MODIS LST data are used to investigate urban-rural LST differences.

Land Surface Temperature (LST)

This image is a Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 8-day composite of daytime LST. MODIS provides both daytime and nighttime LST data that are produced from thermal infrared (TIR) bands that detect the heat of Earth’s surface.

Explore MODIS LST data at NASA's Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC)

Mid-latitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E)

Published: June 20, 2016

Location: Oklahoma, USA

Source: Citation jet/various microphysical probes

Looking at Cloud Particles

This mosaic was created using images of liquid and frozen cloud particles taken during the Mid-latitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E). MC3E was a NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) ground validation field campaign to validate data collected by the joint NASA/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency GPM satellite mission.

Learn more about MC3E at NASA's Global Hydrology Resource Center Distributed Active Archive Center (GHRC DAAC)

Cloud Components

Clouds contain both liquid (rain) and frozen water (ice crystals). Rain drops in clouds are not teardrop shaped, but are shaped more like hamburger buns. Similarly, ice crystals in clouds do not always resemble typical snowflakes. Frozen water takes on a variety of hexagonal shapes called habits, which rarely are perfectly shaped.

Explore MC3E data at NASA's GHRC DAAC

Monitoring Nitrogen Dioxide

Published: June 13, 2016

Location: Earth

Source: Aura/OMI

Monitoring Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

NO2 is a pollutant produced from road traffic, fossil fuel combustion processes, and natural events such as wildfires. NO2 is a major component of acid rain and can lead to breathing difficulties. The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA's Aura satellite is one tool NASA uses to collect data about air quality.

Explore NO2 data at NASA's Goddard Earth Sciences Data & Information Services Center (GES DISC)

Areas with high NO2

This image shows a weekly summary of total tropospheric column NO2. Areas with high levels of NO2 are indicated in red and brown. Even though no continental outlines or country borders are shown, the high emissions of NO2 from cities and industrialized countries make it easy to discern the U.S. and Europe.

Download OMI data through NASA's GES DISC

Data for Positioning & Earth Rotation

Published: June 6, 2016

Location: Earth

Source: LAGEOS satellite/SLR station locations

LAser GEOdynamics Satellite (LAGEOS)

The green icons are the network of more than 40 Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) sites providing laser ranging data to the LAGEOS satellite. Red dots indicate all stations that have tracked LAGEOS since its launch on 4 May 1976. LAGEOS data are archived at NASA's Crustal Dynamics Data Information System (CDDIS).

Learn more about LAGEOS

Benefits of Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) Data

SLR data provide extremely high location accuracy at a global scale, and are used for positioning tracking stations, monitoring the motion of Earth's rotational pole, determining Earth's gravitational field, and improving modeling of tides.

Learn more about SLR

Land Surface Temperature

Published: May 30, 2016

Location: Southern Spain/North Africa

Source: Terra/MODIS

Sensing Surface Temperature

The colors on this map indicate land surface temperature using the Kelvin (K) temperature scale. Warmer areas are shown in yellow and orange; cooler areas are in green and blue. Unlike air temperature, this measurement shows the temperature of whatever is on the Earth's surface.

Explore this image using Worldview

The Kelvin Temperature Scale

Kelvin (K) is the primary temperature unit of measure in the physical sciences. 0K is the theoretical temperature at which molecular motion stops. To convert kelvin to degrees Celsius, simply subtract 273.15 from the kelvin value. Water boils at 373.15K, which is 100°C.

Download land surface temperature data at NASA's Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC)

California Rim Fire

Published: May 23, 2016

Location: California, USA

Source: Terra/MISR

Smoke Plumes near Yosemite

This image was acquired by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft. In this image, the the massive Rim Fire measures 380 by 346 km (236 by 215 mi).

Explore MISR data at NASA's Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) DAAC

The Rim Fire

This wildland fire, called the Rim Fire, started in a remote canyon in the Stanislaus National Forest, and was the third largest wildfire in California's history.

View more MISR imagery at NASA's ASDC DAAC

Global Estimated Net Migration Grids By Decade, v1 (1970 – 2000)

Published: May 16, 2016

Location: Europe

Source: Census Data

Net Migration in Europe

This map displays net migration estimates over northern Europe from 1990-2000 at 1-km resolution. Net migration is estimated by subtracting the natural increase (births minus deaths) in population from the overall population change over the decade.

Explore this data set at NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC).

A Changing European Population

Migration occurs in response to many environmental, economic and political reasons. Here we see the cities of northern Europe grow and rural areas shrink during the 1990s. Since many cities are near coasts, this migration poses challenges as sea levels rise.

View more net migration maps at SEDAC

The Blob

Published: May 9, 2016

Location: Global

Source: Terra, Aqua/POES/MODIS, AMSR-E, AVHRR

The Blob

The "blob" is the name given to an area of unusually warm sea surface temperature in the Northeast Pacific (indicated by red, warm water south of Alaska). The blob was first detected in 2013 and persisted through 2015.

Explore sea surface temperature data at NASA's Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center (PO.DAAC)

Sensing Sea Surface Temperature

The image is comprised of 12-year statistics from the Multi-scale Ultra-high Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (MUR SST) data, called the fourth empirical orthogonal function (EOF), showing some of the dominant patterns of changes in surface temperature.

Learn more about MUR SST analysis

Japan Earthquake 2 May 2016

Published: May 2, 2016

Location: Kumamoto, Japan

Source: Sentinel-1A/SAR

Kumamoto Earthquake

Each full color cycle, or fringe, indicates motion of 8.5 cm (3.35 in) caused by the 4/16/2016 Kumamoto earthquake. Image credit: Franz J. Meyer, 2016; contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2016. The radar image was combined with NASA/USGS Landsat images in Google Earth (© 2016 Google).

Read about the many uses of Sentinel-1A data

Sentinel-1A Data

Through an agreement between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), NASA's Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center (ASF DAAC) distributes the complete ESA archive of Sentinel-1A synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data.

Explore Sentinel-1A data at ASF DAAC

Tropical Cyclone Amos

Published: April 25, 2016

Location: South Pacific Ocean

Source: Aqua/MODIS

Tropical Cyclone Amos

Tropical Cyclone Amos formed on April 20. On April 22 (the date of this image), Amos had sustained winds of 105 mph/169 kph with gusts to 125 mph/201 kph and was moving east at 9 mph/14.5 kph toward Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Read more about this image

Tracking Hazards from Space

Instruments on NASA satellites, such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra and Aqua Earth observing satellites, are used to track tropical cyclones, wildfires, dust storms, and other events 24/7.

Explore images captured by instruments on NASA satellites in the Rapid Response gallery

The Color of Ocean Life

Published: April 18, 2016

Location: Patagonian Sea, South America

Source: Suomi-NPP/VIIRS

Sensing Sea Life

The swirls of blue and green in this image are high concentrations of microscopic organisms called chlorophyll. The Patagonian Sea in the southwest Atlantic Ocean is one of the most biologically productive regions in the global ocean.

Explore ocean color data at NASA's Ocean Biology Distributed Active Archive Center (OB.DAAC)

VIIRS

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is a scanning radiometer that collects visible and infrared imagery and radiometric measurements of the land, atmosphere, cryosphere, and oceans.

Download VIIRS ocean color data at OB.DAAC

Sensing the Age of Arctic Sea Ice

Published: April 11, 2016

Location: Arctic Ocean

Source: Terra/MODIS

Sensing the age of Arctic sea ice

The age of Arctic sea ice can be determined using sensors on Earth observing satellites. Old sea ice (4-5 years old or older) is generally thicker and whiter, and shows more relief. Young sea ice is generally thinner and flatter, and has a blueish tint closer to that of the open sea.

Explore Arctic sea ice age data at NASA's NSIDC DAAC

Remotely determining ice extent

Arctic sea ice reached a record low seasonal maximum extent of 14.52 million square kilometers (5.607 million square miles) on March 24, 2016. The average Arctic sea ice extent for March 2016 was 14.43 million square kilometers (5.57 million square miles), the second lowest in the satellite record.

Read more about this in the NSIDC's Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis

Easier ASTER Access

Published: April 4, 2016

Location: Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone NP, WY

Source: Terra/ASTER

Japan, NASA provide open access to NASA data

The complete ASTER archive is now available at no charge through NASA’s LP DAAC. ASTER is a partnership between NASA; Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI); Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST); and Japan Space Systems (J-spacesystems).

Explore ASTER data at LP DAAC

A more precise view of Earth

NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC) created the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Level 1 Precision Terrain Corrected Registered At-Sensor Radiance (AST_L1T) product by applying modified Landsat geometric algorithms to ASTER Level 1 data.

Learn more about LP DAAC AST_L1T products

Assessing Aerosols

Published: March 28, 2016

Location: Middle East, India & Asia

Source: Terra/MODIS

Additional Information

Satellite Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD)

AOD is a measure of how much particles in the air (aerosols) prevent light from passing through the atmosphere. Areas in yellow and red (such as over India) indicate areas with high concentrations of aerosols that can limit visibility.

Explore this full global image using Worldview

Terra/MODIS

This image was created from data collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA’s Terra Earth observing satellite. MODIS Level-1 atmosphere and select land data products are available through NASA’s Level 1 and Atmosphere Archive and Distribution System (LAADS).

Explore MODIS data at LAADS

Lightning Trends and Hotspots

Published: March 21, 2016

Location: Global

Source: LIS/TRMM

Lightning Capital of the World

The lightning climatology reveals Earth’s lightning hotspot, located over Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. This area experiences very localized and persistent thunderstorms, which account for the observed high flash rate density.

Learn more about NASA lightning research and measurements

NASA Lightning Observations from Space

The LIS Very High Resolution Climatology datasets were derived from 16 years of lightning observations collected by the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS). This data presents a higher resolution gridded lightning climatology dataset than previously available, allowing lighting trends and hotspots to be studied.

Explore LIS at NASA's Global Hydrology Research Center Distributed Active Archive Center (GHRC DAAC)

Observing Heavy Rain

Published: March 14, 2016

Location: South-Central U.S.

Source: GPM Core Observatory/IMERG data

NASA's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG)

The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission provides global observations of rain and snow. The IMERG "Late Run" data set is a near real-time data product combining observations from several different satellites that are inter-calibrated with radar instruments on the GPM Core Observatory satellite.

Learn more about the GPM mission

Heavy Rain in the South-Central U.S.

As shown in this image of IMERG data, averaged over March 7 - 9, 2016, with the NASA Giovanni system, heavy rain fell in central and southern Arkansas and along the Arkansas/Louisiana border (indicated by the red to yellow color). The heavy rain led to major flooding.

Explore GPM data at NASA's Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC)

Data for Pinpoint Positioning 7 Mar 2016

Published: March 7, 2016

Location: Earth

Source: GNSS satellite/laser

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)

The red dots on this map indicate the more than 200 GNSS sites that provide real-time data to NASA's Crustal Dynamics Data Information System (CDDIS). GNSS data provide precise global positions using a fleet of orbiting satellites and a global network of ground-based receivers.

Explore GNSS real-time data at NASA's CDDIS

The benefits of real-time GNSS data

Real-time GNSS data enable precise point positioning (PPP) and related applications, such as time synchronization and disaster monitoring, at worldwide scales. PPP uses precise clocks and satellite orbits to provide position information to within a few centimeters for nearly any location on Earth.

Learn more about GNSS

Sentinel-1A

Published: February 29, 2016

Location: Western & Central Iceland

Source: Sentinel-1A/SAR

Iceland by SAR

In this false-color Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image, bare surfaces (such as soil) are red and orange; vegetation is green. The large dark spots are glaciated areas that are smooth and have little radar backscatter. Copernicus Sentinel data 2015.

Learn about applications for Sentinel-1A data

Sentinel-1A Data at ASF DAAC

Through an agreement between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), NASA's Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center (ASF DAAC) distributes the complete ESA archive of Sentinel-1A SAR data.

Explore Sentinel-1A data at ASF DAAC

An EPIC View of Earth

Published: February 22, 2016

Location: Earth

Source: DSCOVR/EPIC

An EPIC view of Earth

This Earth image is from approximately 1 million miles away, and was captured by the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). DSCOVR is a NASA/NOAA/U.S. Air Force partnership.

Explore DSCOVR data and information at NASA's ASDC DAAC

Studying a Changing Earth

Images from the EPIC instrument allow scientists to study daily variations in vegetation, ozone, aerosols, and cloud height and reflectivity across the entire globe.

See daily images of Earth from DSCOVR

Sensing Particulate Matter SEDAC 15 Feb 2016

Published: February 15, 2016

Location: Global

Source: Terra & Aqua/MODIS; Terra/MISR; SeaStar/SeaWiFS

Sensing Particulate Matter

PM2.5 refers to fine particulate matter (less than 2.5 microns in diameter) in the atmosphere. The high PM2.5 concentrations over the Arabian Peninsula are mainly due to naturally occurring dust or sea salt.

Read about this data set at NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC)

Potential Problems of Particulates

High PM2.5 concentrations (areas in orange and red) are known to cause or aggravate respiratory and heart problems. Air pollution is the cause of the very high PM2.5 levels over parts of India.

Read more about particulate matter

El Nino PODAAC 8-2-2016

Published: February 8, 2016

Location: Eastern Pacific Ocean

Source: NOAA-19/AVHRR

AVHRR

The sea surface temperatures in this image are from data collected by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) instrument. Yellow, red, and crimson colors indicate areas of warmer sea surface temperatures.

Learn more about the AVHRR instrument

El Niño

El Niño is the name given to a period of unusually warm sea surface temperatures that develop in the central to east-central tropical Pacific Ocean. The current El Niño is one of the strongest ever recorded.

Learn more about El Niño at NASA's PO.DAAC

The Carbon Monitoring System ORNL 2-1-2016

Published: February 1, 2016

Location: Fazenda Cauaxi, Brazil

Source: Aircraft/LiDAR

Looking at Global Carbon Sources

One-quarter of the carbon released from fossil fuel burning is taken up by vegetation and even the soil. NASA is developing new technologies and techniques, such as the Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), to better monitor and understand global carbon uptake.

Learn more about the CMS

Carbon in the Forest Canopy

Brazilian tropical forests contain approximately one-third of the global carbon stock in above-ground tropical forest biomass. Orange and red areas in this image indicate trees extending above the surrounding canopy.

Read more about this image at ORNL DAAC

Historic East Coast Snow

Published: January 25, 2016

Location: East Coast, USA

Source: Suomi-NPP/VIIRS

Additional Information

Historic East Coast Winter Storm

January 24 was a clear day along much of the East Coast, so the white in this image is snow left behind by a powerful winter storm. According to the National Weather Service, this storm produced record snowfall in many East Coast cities, including Richmond, VA; Baltimore, MD; Harrisburg, PA; Newark, NJ; and Central Park in New York City.

See more NASA images of this storm

The Image Tells the Story

Unlike clouds, snow tends to follow terrain features. This is clearly seen in this Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) image from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite, where the snow neatly follows the ridges of mountains in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania and stops exactly at the coastline.

Explore VIIRS images using Worldview

Flooding in Argentina

Published: January 18, 2016

Location: Rosario, Argentina

Source: Terra/ASTER

Flooding in Argentina

Rosario, Argentina, is located 300 km (186 miles) NW of Buenos Aires, and sits on the western shore of the Parana River. Since 2015, heavy rain has displaced tends of thousands of residents from their homes in Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil.

Read more about this image

ASTER

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument collects data in 14 spectral bands, from the visible to the infrared. Its high spatial resolution makes it a key tool for monitoring surface changes.

Explore ASTER products at NASA's LP DAAC

Another Tool for Detecting Hot Spots

Published: January 11, 2016

Location: Arabian Peninsula

Source: Suomi-NPP/VIIRS

Additional Information

Using VIIRS to Find Hot Spots

The Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is a key instrument on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite. The VIIRS fire product detects areas of high heat from wildfires, oil refineries, and other sources and these are depicted as red triangles.

Explore VIIRS images using EOSDIS Worldview

The Value of VIIRS

Scientists use data from VIIRS to study a wide range of Earth processes, including cloud and aerosol properties, ocean color, sea and land surface temperature, ice motion and temperature, fires, and the Earth's albedo. VIIRS launched aboard the Suomi-NPP satellite on October 28, 2011.

See more VIIRS images

Global Sea Surface Temperature 1-4-2016

Published: January 4, 2016

Location: Earth

Source: Terra, Aqua, POES/MODIS, AMSR-E, AVHRR

Sensing Sea Surface Temperature

Measurements of SST are used for a wide range of applications and research, including forecasting weather, managing fisheries, analyzing ocean acoustic communication, and studying climate and marine life. Cooler temperatures are indicated by blues and greens; with warmer temperatures indicated by yellows and reds.

Read more about SST measurements

MUR SST

This image is a Multi-scale Ultra-high Resolution Sea Surface Temperature, or MUR SST, map of the Earth, and is made by combining measurements from multiple instruments on different satellites. It is produced by the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST).

Learn more about the GHRSST

Monitoring Global Carbon Monoxide

Published: December 28, 2015

Location: Earth

Source: Aqua/AIRS

Sensing the Atmosphere from Space

Data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite were used to create this image. AIRS, in conjunction with the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), senses emitted infrared and microwave radiation to provide a three-dimensional look at Earth's weather and climate.

Learn more about AIRS

Bad Air Over Indonesia

Widespread forest fires led to high levels of carbon monoxide over Indonesia in mid-October, indicated by the red, brown, and purple colors in this image. These high carbon monoxide concentrations led to large parts of Indonesia being placed in a state of emergency.

Read more about this image

Studying Glaciers in Remote Areas

Published: December 21, 2015

Location: Tibetian Plateau, China

Source: Terra/ASTER

Tibetian Plateau Glaciers

Satellite-borne sensors play a key role in studying glaciers, which often are in remote areas. This image from the ASTER instrument is part of a study looking at changes in glaciers around Lake Chem in the northwestern Tibetan Plateau, China. All glaciers in this area have decreased in size over the past 39 years.

Read more about how scientists use satellite imagery to study glaciers

ASTER

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument launched aboard the Terra Earth observing satellite in 1999, and is a cooperative effort between NASA, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and Japan Space Systems.

See more ASTER data

Chilean Earthquake Interferogram

Published: December 14, 2015

Location: Chile

Source: Sentinel-1A/SAR

Imaging an Earthquake

This interferogram shows the displacement of land after an 8.3M earthquake occurred near Santiago, Chile, on 09/16/2015. Each complete color cycle equals 8.5 cm of motion. Image: F. Meyer, W. Gong 2015; contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2015.

Learn more about SAR

Sentinel-1A

The European Space Agency Sentinel-1A satellite was launched on 04/03/2014, and carries a C-band SAR. Sentinel-1A data are available through NASA's Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center (ASF DAAC).

Explore Sentinel-1A data

Mount Kilimanjaro

Published: December 7, 2015

Location: Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Source: Space Shuttle Endeavour/Radar

The Highest Mountain in Africa

The colors in this image from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) represent elevation, with higher elevation indicated by yellows, reds, and whites. Mount Kilimanjaro is the large white area on the right, and has an elevation of 5,895 meters (19,341 ft).

Download SRTM data from NASA's Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC)

The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission

NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) SRTM 1-arc-second data were used to create this shaded relief image of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Read more about the SRTM

Cities, Traffic & CO2

Published: November 30, 2015

Location: United States

Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory DAAC

Tracking CO2 Emissions

The Database of Road Transportation Emissions (DARTE) shows that urban areas accounted for 63% of total vehicle CO2 emissions in the continental U.S. in 2012. Areas with the highest CO2 emissions are in red; areas with lower CO2 emissions are in green and white.

Explore DARTE data at NASA's ORNL DAAC

NASA's Carbon Monitoring System

DARTE is part of NASA's Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), which is designed to make significant contributions in characterizing, quantifying, understanding, and predicting the evolution of global carbon sources and sinks through improved monitoring of carbon stocks and fluxes.

Read more about NASA's Carbon Monitoring System

Blizzard Blankets the Rockies

Published: November 23, 2015

Location: Colorado, USA

Source: Aqua/MODIS

Additional Information

Aftermath of a Fall Blizzard

This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aqua image, acquired on November 18, 2015 shows the Rocky Mountains following a powerful weather system that dropped more than 0.3 meters (12 inches) of snow along portions of the Front Range. Wind gusts of 112 km/hr (70 mph) and higher were measured during this early-season blizzard.

Explore MODIS data using Worldview

NASA's Workhorse Instrument

MODIS is a key instrument aboard NASA's Terra (1999 launch) and Aqua (2002 launch) Earth observing satellites. MODIS provides observations for the entire Earth's surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands. MODIS and other remote sensing data are improving our understanding of Earth's interrelated systems.

Read more about MODIS

Phytoplankton in the North Atlantic

Published: November 16, 2015

Location: Iceland, North Atlantic Ocean

Source: Suomi-NPP/VIIRS

The Living Sea

The swirling bluish-green colors around Iceland are living organisms called phytoplankton, which form the base of the ocean food pyramid. Satellite images of ocean color make it easy to detect these large phytoplankton blooms.

See more ocean color images

Imaging the Earth with VIIRS

The joint Suomi-NPP Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) collects visible and infrared imagery and radiometric measurements of the land, atmosphere, cryosphere, and oceans. VIIRS data are used to measure cloud and aerosol properties, ocean color, sea and land surface temperature, ice motion and temperature, fires, and Earth's albedo.

Get VIIRS and other ocean color data from NASA's Ocean Biology Distributed Active Archive Center

Global Environmental Performance Index

Published: November 9, 2015

Location: Global

Source: Environmental Performance Index

Evaluating environmental performance

SEDAC's Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks 178 countries on 20 performance indicators in 9 policy categories: health impacts, air quality, water and sanitation, water resources, agriculture, forests, fisheries, biodiversity and habitat, and climate and energy. Map credit: CIESIN Columbia University, November 2014.

Read more about the EPI

Looking at our global society

NASA's Socioeconomic Data & Applications Center (SEDAC) is one of 12 discipline-specific Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs). It is hosted by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University.

Explore SEDAC data and products

Masthead Nov 2 2015 SST

Published: November 2, 2015

Location: Global

Source: NOAA-16, 17, 18, 11, 7, 9, 14/AVHRR-3 & AVHRR-2

Additional Information

El Niño 2015

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a quasi-periodic fluctuation of warmer than normal ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific and can clearly be seen in this image by the dark red colors stretching to the west off the coast of South America. According to NASA's PO.DAAC, this year's El Nino is one of the strongest on record.

Read more about this year's El Niño.

Measuring Global Sea Surface Temperature

Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is a measure of the energy due to the motion of molecules at the top layer of the ocean. SST measurements are taken by instruments aboard several orbiting satellites, including NASA's Terra and Aqua.

Read more about SST data.

Hurricane Patricia and Hurricane Olaf

Published: October 23, 2015

Location: Pacific Ocean

Source: Terra/MODIS

Additional Information

Hurricane Patricia

Category 5 Hurricane Patricia is expected to make landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast near Puerto Vallarta the evening of October 23 with estimated winds of 322 km/h (200 mph), then rapidly weaken as it moves inland.

Explore Hurricane Patricia on Worldview

Hurricane Olaf

Category 3 Hurricane Olaf, with winds of 193 km/h (120 mph), is expected to stay east of the Hawaiian Islands as it slowly churns NNE and weakens to a tropical storm by early next week.

Explore Hurricane Olaf on Worldview

Earthdata Masthead Oct 19 2015 Ural Mountains

Published: October 19, 2015

Location: Ural Mountains, Russia

Source: Terra/ASTER

Additional Information

Imaging Earth with ASTER

Data from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument are used to create detailed maps of surface temperature, reflectance, and elevation. Image: NASA/GSFC/METI/Japan Space Systems & U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.

See more NASA ASTER images

The Ural Mountains

The Ural Mountains stretch roughly 2,500 km (1,600 miles) across western Russia, from the Arctic Ocean to the Ural River and northwestern Kazakhstan. The Urals form the boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia.

Download ASTER data at NASA's LP DAAC

OCO-2

Published: October 13, 2015

Location: Earth

Source: OCO-2/Spectrometer

Additional Information

Measuring global atmospheric CO2

This image shows averaged atmospheric carbon dioxide between Oct. 1 and Nov. 11, 2014, and is the first global map from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2). Red and orange colors indicate higher carbon dioxide concentrations. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Learn more about the OCO-2 mission.

The OCO-2 mission

NASA's OCO-2 satellite launched on July 2, 2014, to collect measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide with the precision, resolution, and coverage necessary to characterize the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide and quantify the variability of carbon dioxide over seasonal cycles.

Explore OCO-2 data at NASA's GES DISC

Precipitation from Hurricane Joaquin

Published: October 6, 2015

Location: US Atlantic Coast

Source: GPM/IMERG

Historic Precipitation in South Carolina

This image of estimated precipitation from 9/26 through 10/5 is generated from the Integrated MultisatellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) data product. Parts of South Carolina received more than 600 mm (24 in) of rain during this period. Image: SSAI/NASA GSFC.

Read more about this image

Measuring Global Precipitation

The joint NASA/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory collects global precipitation data from 65˚ north and south latitude, and can collect data about storms as they form in the tropics and move to more temperate latitudes.

GPM

IMERG global precipitation image

Published: October 2, 2015

Location: Earth

Source: GPM/IMERG

Tracking Joaquin’s Precipitation

This precipitation image is generated from the Integrated Multi-SatellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) data product, which provides daily images of global precipitation. Data for this image are collected by the joint NASA/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory.

GPM extreme weather images

Atlantic Hurricanes

Based on 30-year climatology, four named storms typically form in the Atlantic in September, with two or three storms becoming hurricanes and one or two reaching major hurricane strength (like Hurricane Joaquin).

Worldview

Looking at Lightning

Published: September 28, 2015

Location: Global

Source: TRMM/Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS)

Sensing Lightning from Space

The Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) was one of five instruments aboard NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), which orbited from 1997 to 2015. LIS detected the distribution and variability of total lightning occurring in tropical regions. A LIS is scheduled for launch in 2016 for installation on the International Space Station.

See LIS data at the Global Hydrology Resource Center Distributed Active Archive Center (GHRC DAAC)

Lots of Lightning

This image is a composite of lightning data collected by the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) between January 1998 and October 2014. Over more than 16 years, the sensor recorded more than 1.16 billion lightning events and more than 22 million lightning flashes. Darker colors (grays and blacks) indicate areas of heavy lightning activity.

Learn more about the LIS instrument

Niwot Ridge

Published: September 20, 2016

Location: Colorado, USA

Source: ALOS-1/PALSAR

Looking at vegetation using SAR

This synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image was made using a phased array L-band synthetic aperture radar (PALSAR). The false colors on the image represent types of vegetation: green is tree canopy, pink is crops or pasture, black is wet soil, and gray is low vegetation. Image credit: ASF DAAC, ORNL DAAC 2010; includes material © JAXA/METI 2010.

See more PALSAR images at NASA's Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center (ASF DAAC)

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

This image is from the SAR Data for Terrestrial Ecologists project, a collaboration by the ASF DAAC, the National Snow and Ice Data Center, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory DAAC to provide SAR images from terrestrial ecology and meteorological monitoring networks. Image credit: ASF DAAC, ORNL DAAC 2010; includes material © JAXA/METI 2010.

Learn more about using SAR data at the Earthdata Webinar on 9/23/15

Hurricane Fred

Published: September 20, 2016

Location: Cape Verde islands just west of Africa

Source: Terra/MODIS

Additional Information

Hurricane in a Day

On August 30, unusually warm sea surface temperatures and favorable conditions off the western coast of Africa provided the fuel necessary for a tropical depression to grow into a hurricane in about one day. Hurricane Fred roared over the Cape Verde islands on August 31 leaving behind flooding and extensive wind damage.

See other MODIS near real-time images at the EOSDIS Rapid Response

Near Real-Time Imagery

This image is a near real-time product from the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE). LANCE near real-time images are generally available within three hours of a satellite overpass, and can be viewed using the EOSDIS Worldview data visualization client.

Learn more about near real-time products at EOSDIS LANCE

Global Population of the World, version 4

Published: September 20, 2016

Location: Earth

Source: SEDAC

Looking at Global Population Density

Darker areas indicate higher population densities. The darkest areas on the map indicate population densities of 1,000 or more people per square km(parts of India and China). Lighter areas indicate population densities of 0 to 24 people per square km (across much of Canada and Russia).

Explore SEDAC global population data sets. Version 4 is coming soon!

NASA Socioeconomic Data

NASA socioeconomic data are available through the Socioeconomic and Data Applications Center (SEDAC), which is one of the 12 EOSDIS Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs). DAACs process, archive, and distribute discipline-specific data collections (such as socioeconomic data). SEDAC is located at Columbia University in New York City.

Explore NASA socioeconomic data at SEDAC

Looking at Global Carbon Production

Published: October 26, 2015

Location: Earth

Source: Terra & Aqua/MODIS

The Carbon Monitoring System (CMS)

The NASA CMS aims to characterize, quantify, understand, and predict the evolution of global carbon sources and sinks through the monitoring of carbon stocks and changes.

Explore CMS data at NASA's ORNL DAAC

Global Net Primary Production (NPP)

The CMS data set provides global estimates of carbon fluxes associate with annual crop NPP and harvested biomass, annual uptake and release by humans and livestock, and the total annual estimate of net carbon exchange from these carbon fluxes.

Read more about this image
Feedback