Terra

Overview

Approximately the size of a small school bus, the Terra satellite carries five instruments that take coincident measurements of the Earth system:

  • Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER)
  • Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES)
  • Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR)
  • Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT)
  • Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)

Terra is in a circular sun-synchronous polar orbit that takes it from north to south (on the daylight side of the Earth) every 99 minutes.

Learn more: http://terra.nasa.gov/

Latest Updates

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...
October 26, 2018
AMSR-2 precipitation aquired 10/22/18.
AMSR-2 precipitation from Hurricane Willa acquired 10/22/18. On October 22, 2018 the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) instrument, onboard Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM)-W1 satellite, observed the surface precipitation rates of Hurricane Willa as it approached Mexico. This Land, Atmosphere Near-Real Time Capability for EOS (LANCE) NRT AMSR2 image shows high precipitation...
October 11, 2018
MISR Imagery Hurricane Michael 
MISR (a NASA instrument that flies aboard the Terra satellite) carries nine cameras fixed at different angles, each of which viewed Michael over the course of approximately seven minutes when it was just off Florida's west coast on Tuesday October 9, 2018. This composite image shows the view from the central, downward-pointing camera (left), the calculated cloud-top heights (middle), and wind velocity vectors (right) superimposed on the image. The length of the...
October 11, 2018
NASA MISR Image
NASA MISR Image  NASA’s MISR (Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer) instrument on-board the Terra satellite captured Hurricane Michael with the eye in mid swath on October 9, 2018. This MISR image was captured during Terra orbit 100049. MISR carries nine cameras to view the earth at nine widely-spaced angles and provides calibrated images in four spectral bands at each of the angles.
September 18, 2018
This MODIS flood detection map from 9/19/18 shows the 1-day flood product (in red), on top of the 1-day surface water product (in yellow) in Google Earth.
UPDATE 9/19/18: This MODIS flood detection map from 9/19/18 shows the 1-day flood product (in red), on top of the 1-day surface water product (in yellow) in Google Earth. The MODIS Near Real-Time Global Flood Mapping Project produces global daily surface and flood water maps at approximately 250 m resolution, in 10x10 degree tiles. This project was developed in collaboration with Bob Brakenridge at the Dartmouth Flood Observatory (DFO):...
August 26, 2018
This image shows Hurricane Lane as observed by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on Thursday, August 23. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
This image shows Hurricane Lane as observed by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on Thursday, August 23. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech Instruments on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites were watching as Hurricane Lane -- a category 2 storm as of Friday, Aug. 24 -- made its way toward Hawaii. NASA's Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) captured images of Lane on just before noon local time on Aug. 24. MISR, flying onboard NASA’s Terra satellite,...
August 23, 2018
Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean on August 21, 2018 compiled by Coral Reef Watch, which blends observations from the Suomi NPP, MTSAT, Meteosat, and GOES satellites, and computer models. 
Multiple threatening tropical cyclones spun over the Pacific Ocean in August 2018. In the northwest Pacific basin, typhoons Soulik and Cimaron took aim at Japan and the Korean Peninsula. Then Hurricane Lane lined up in the tropical Pacific for an encounter with the Hawaiian Islands. At 10:45 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time (20:45 Universal Time) on August 21, 2018, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image of Hurricane Lane. Around that time, Lane was a powerful category 4 hurricane with...
May 7, 2018
ASTER image acquired May 6 picks up hotspots on the thermal infrared bands – shown in yellow. These hotspots are newly formed fissures and lava flows.
ASTER image acquired May 6 picks up hotspots on the thermal infrared bands – shown in yellow. These hotspots are newly formed fissures and lava flows. Credits: NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team The eruption of Kilauea Volcano on the island of Hawaii triggered a number of gas- and lava-oozing fissures in the East Rift Zone of the volcano. The fissures and high levels of sulfur dioxide gas prompted evacuations in the area. Images taken from the Advanced...
November 30, 2017
MODIS True Color Terra Image
Imagery Acquired November 27, 2017 This RGB image from MODIS/Terra on November, 27th shows the presence of ash vented out from the Agung volcano as gray and brownish areas above clouds and/or water. This contrasts with the whiter clouds on the left side of the image.
October 25, 2017
NASA's Terra Satellite Image
As firefighters continue to work toward full containment of the rash of wildfires burning in Northern California. This image from NASA's Terra Satellite acquired on Oct. 21, 2017, shows the growing fire scar on the landscape. As firefighters continue to work toward full containment of the rash of wildfires burning in Northern California, a new image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite shows the growing fire scar on...
May 3, 2017
MODIS image of flooding in Missouri.
Terra MODIS image of Missouri acquired on April 25th, 2017. Terra MODIS image of Missouri floods acquired on May 2nd, 2017. On May 2, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this ...
April 1, 2017
Aqua true-color image overlaid with active-fire detections, shown in red, take from MODIS (onboard Terra and Aqua) and VIIRS (onboard Suomi-NPP), showing smoke streaming from wildfires in Guatemala on April 1st 2017.
Fires started to burn in early March in the protected regions of Sierra del Lacandón National Park (also Laguna del Tigre), which is located in the tropical rain forest in the north west of Guatemala.   Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) data are being used to locate fire lines that are difficult to see from the ground, and these data are also being used to analyze long term fire trends.  One Guatemalan weekly report highlighted the improved value of VIIRS data to locate small fires and the valuable long–term...
January 24, 2017
On January 20, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired an image of brown smoke billowing from a cluster of fires near the coastal city of Pichilemu.
On January 20, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired an image of brown smoke billowing from a cluster of fires near the coastal city of Pichilemu. Smoke from dozens of forest fires billowed over central Chile in January 2017. A heat wave, coupled with strong winds, spread the flames on January 20, prompting President Michelle Bachelet to declare a state of emergency in some areas. On January 20, 2017, the Moderate Resolution Imaging...
October 9, 2016
 On October 9, 2016, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of floodwaters laden with sediment pouring out from several rivers in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Though its winds had weakened as it moved north, Hurricane Matthew delivered record-breaking rainfall to parts of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. In many coastal areas, the storm dumped well over 12 inches (30 centimeters) of water. On October 9, 2016, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s ...
June 2, 2010
Multiple cameras on JPL's MISR instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft were used to create two unique views of oil moving into Louisiana's coastal wetlands.
Multiple cameras on JPL's MISR instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft were used to create two unique views of oil moving into Louisiana's coastal wetlands.  These images, acquired on May 24, 2010 by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft, show the encroachment of oil from the former Deepwater Horizon rig into Louisiana's wildlife habitats. The source of the spill is located off the southeastern (bottom...
July 26, 2016
Smoke from California's Sand and Soberanes Fires Observed by NASA's MISR
The Sand Fire in the Santa Clarita Valley area of Southern California erupted on Friday, July 22, 2016, and rapidly grew to more than 37,000 acres (58 square miles, or 150 square kilometers) over the weekend. As of Tuesday, July 26, hundreds of residents still remain under evacuation orders, and the fire claimed the life of a local resident. The fire is currently 25 percent contained. The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite passed over the...