Latest News and Updates

March 26, 2019
Dr. Amber Soja giving a presentation on wildfire research.
Click here to view the full tweet and video.  Dr. Amber Soja's work using remote sensing to study links between wildland fire and climate change was highlighted by NASA Earth on Twitter this week.  The tweet came as a salute to women in science on International Women's Day.  An interview with Dr. Soja posted on Twitter describes how she and her Applied Science teams use NASA data to reduce the cost of fire suppression through operational awareness, fire mitigation and prescribed landscape fires.  Dr. Soja further describes how NASA data are used to identify deviations in Northern hemisphere, upper latitude landscape fires that are largely driven by changing climate.  The interview has captured the attention of more than 16,000 followers, spreading valuable knowledge of Earth science.


March 19, 2019
Natural-color mosaic image acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites on March 13th, 2019. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
MODIS Helps Researchers Track Midwest "Bomb Cyclone" Storm System // Suomi NPP VIIRS Tracks Location and Spread of Fires in Victoria, Australia to Aid Firefighters // GPM Measures Precipitation in Destructive Cyclone Idai in Mozambique to Predict Potential Floods and Landslides


February 26, 2019
On February 21st, Jeremy Kirkendall gave an overview of the NASA Disasters Mapping Portal during a panel session at the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Outlook Forum. There were approximately 75 people in attendance for the talk, which was very well received. Several new contacts were established with the USDA disasters staff and other researcheres who wanted to colloborate and share data with the Disasters Program.    A number of people, including foreign users, expressed interest in ingesting near real-time services from the Mapping Portal to help with agricultural outlook forecasts and disaster recovery. The industry was very receptive of new data as they are always tyring to forecast the cost and yield of product.


February 6, 2019
ISS Georeferenced Digital Camera Images of Brumandinho Dam Area, Brazil
ISS Georeferenced Digital Camera Images of Brumandinho Dam Area, Brazil This collection of visible-wavelength (red, green, blue or RGB) digital camera images were taken by astronauts onboard the International Space Station on February 2, 2019, then manually georeferenced by members of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA Johnson Space Center. The images provide regional context, and may be useful for visualization of the event. Higher spatial resolution images may be suitable for spatial analysis to support decision making or subsequent research applications.


February 1, 2019
Garrett Layne gives an overview and demonstration of the NASA Disasters Mapping Portal.
On Wednesday January 30th, members of the NASA Disasters Program hosted a one hour Special Interest Group (SIG) session at the Esri Federal GIS Conference in Washington, DC. There were around 40 attendees present, including representatives from USDA, the World Bank, U.S. Census Bureau, USACE, Leidos, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Blue Raster, Esri, among others.


January 29, 2019
Esri Federal Conference Logo
The NASA Disasters Program was highlighted at Esri’s Federal Geographic Information System (GIS) conference plenary session on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 in Washington, D.C. The presentation was viewed by several thousand conference attendees and introduced the audience to the breadth of work in NASA’s earth science program. Jack Dangermond, the founder and owner of Esri, described how different agencies were utilizing their GIS products to respond to disasters through story maps. Dangermond featured a slide which included NASA’s response efforts to the Kilauea Eruption, Hurricane Florence, and California Wildfire story maps. Later in the presentation, the Disasters Portal was also shown as part of a “success story” of content feeding into FEMA’s GeoPlatform, created as a result of the Geospatial Data Act. The NASA Disasters Program will also be hosting a Special Interest Group meeting at the conference on Wednesday, January 30. This will serve as an opportunity to highlight the program’s important work during 2018, as well as provide an overview of the program, the NASA Disasters Portal and an opportunity to engage and learn from stakeholders.


December 7, 2018
Photo of Hurricane Florence from the ISS
When disasters occur, our researchers become providers and distributors of images, data, and damage assessments. The Disasters team and network of partners and volunteers assist with hazard assessment, evaluation of severity, and identification of impacts near vulnerable infrastructure, crops, and lifelines especially in remote areas where observations are sparse to provide guidance for action.


December 6, 2018
UAVSAR image overlaid a Googe Earth Map. Credit: Andrea Donnellan, NASA JPL, Google Earth, UAVSAR
UAVSAR image overlaid a Googe Earth Map. The red borders are fire extent from the Woolsey Fire in California.  NASA deployed a research aircraft on Nov. 15 for a nighttime flight over the California Woolsey Fire. The NASA C-20 aircraft carried sensors to map the fire scar, with a goal of identifying areas at risk of catastrophic mudslides in the coming winter rains.


December 1, 2018
The circles in Fig. 2 indicate the data uncertainty range; signals beyond the circles are meaningful. 
The circles in Fig. 2 indicate the data uncertainty range; signals beyond the circles are meaningful.  On November 30, 2018 a magnitude 7 earthquake occurred near Anchorage, Alaska cracking buildings, damaging roads and buckling bridges. Over 4,500 structures were destroyed in the event. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) / NOAA tsunami detection prototype generated many real-time results during the Alaska event. Results from the warning system were generated and forwarded to Tsunami Warning Centers. The Alaska event demonstrated that JPL’s tsunami detection system performs well for detecting potential tsunamis.


November 15, 2018
The Measurement of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument is flying on board NASA's Terra satellite. It observes Carbon Monoxide (CO) in the troposphere through thermal and near infrared channels. This product was created by the MOPITT Near-Real Time system on Saturday November 10, 2018 and submitted to NASA Worldview. The images clearly show enhanced levels of carbon monoxide associated with the Camp and Woolsey wildfires in northern and southern California. The high levels of carbon monoxide west of Mexico may be an aged part of the Woolsey / Camp fire plumes, based on the location of high carbon monoxide the day before and on the smoke trajectories shown by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) visible images.  For more information please visit: To access this data please visit: and