Earth Observatory

Overview

The Earth Observatory’s mission is to share with the public the images, stories, and discoveries about the environment, Earth systems, and climate that emerge from NASA research, including its satellite missions, in-the-field research, and models.

The Earth Observatory staff is supported by the Climate and Radiation Laboratory, and the Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory located at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Learn more: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/

Latest Updates

September 29, 2017
Map showing power outages in Puerto Rico
After Hurricane Maria tore across Puerto Rico, it quickly became clear that the destruction would pose daunting challenges for first responders. Most of the electric power grid and telecommunications network was knocked offline. Flooding, downed trees, and toppled power lines made many roads impassable. In circumstances like this, quickly knowing where the power is out—and how long it has been out—allows first responders to better deploy rescue and repair crews and to distribute life-saving supplies. And that...
May 5, 2018
Data from the the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite, acquired April 30 - May 5, 2018
Data from the the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite, acquired April 30 - May 5, 2018 Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983, but in late April and early May 2018 the volcanic eruption took a dangerous new turn. During the last week of April, the lava lake at Halema‘uma‘u Overlook crater ...
October 13, 2017
Landsat image of wildfires acquired October 11, 2017
Acquired October 11, 2017 Acquired October 11, 2017 Devastating wildfires have burned through California’s wine country since October 8, 2017, taking dozens of lives and leaving thousands of people homeless. Even communities distant from the fires have been plagued by ...
September 1, 2017
Sea surface temperature map of Harvey acquired August 30th 2017
Acquired August 23rd 2017. Acquired August 30th 2017. Hurricane Harvey dropped unfathomable amounts of rainwater on Houston and southern Texas from August 25–30, 2017. The potent category 4 hurricane and long-lived tropical storm also churned up the Gulf of Mexico with its winds and storm surges, dispersing warm surface water and mixing up cooler water from the depths....
September 1, 2017
On August 31, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the Texas coast and the Houston metropolitan area.
On August 31, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the Texas coast and the Houston metropolitan area. Note the brown rivers and bays, full of flood water from Hurricane Harvey. Along the coast, muddy, sediment-laden waters from inland pour into a Gulf of Mexico that also was churned up by...
May 9, 2017
Landsat 7 image of flooding near near St. Peters, Missouri on May 9th, 2017.
Landsat 7 image of flooding near near St. Peters, Missouri on May 9th, 2017. Landsat 8 image showing the same area on April 28, 2016 for comparison. In late April and early May 2017, heavy rains in the Midwest gave way to rising rivers and flooding. These false-color images from Landsat satellites show one affected area near St. Peters, Missouri, northwest...
January 12, 2017
GPM IMERG precipitation accumulation from 1/7/17 - 1/10/17.
GPM IMERG precipitation accumulation from 1/7/17 - 1/10/17. Click here to view an animated GIF. An atmospheric river has been flooding California and other parts of the western United States with rain and snow for nearly a week. Precipitation...
January 9, 2017
The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite captured this image of flooded land near the Pra River on January 9, 2017.
The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite captured this image of flooded land near the Pra River on January 9, 2017. This second image shows the same area on February 2, 2014, when waters were lower. Several days of heavy rainfall swamped much of southern Thailand in January 2017. While monsoon-related floods are common in Thailand, the wet...
January 3, 2017
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image on January 3, 2017.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image on January 3, 2017. It was loud and brief. For a few minutes around 9 p.m. on January 3, 2017, Alaska’s Bogoslof volcano let loose an explosion. According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, cloud-top temperatures indicate the volcanic plume may have reached...
January 5, 2017
The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite captured this natural-color image of a smoke plume south of Río Colorado on December 29, 2016.
The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite captured this natural-color image of a smoke plume south of Río Colorado on December 29, 2016. Dense smoke rose above a rash of wildfires in the Pampas region of Argentina in late December 2016 and early January 2017. Over the past month, roughly two dozen fires have spread across the rural landscape. The blazes were likely started by thunderstorms that followed a stretch of hotter-than-average weather, according to ...