Recent NASA Features
- Carlton Complex Fire, WashingtonThe Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites captured these images of the Carlton Complex Fire in July 2014. Ignited by lightning on July 14, the blaze had charred nearly 370 square miles (960 square kilometers) of forest in northern Washington by July 21. About 200 homes have been lost to the fire, according to news reports. The above image shows the fire on July 18; clicking on the image shows it on July 20. Actively burning areas, detected by the thermal bands on MODIS, are outlined in red. References: InciWeb (2014, July 21) Carlton Complex. Accessed July 21, 2014. King5 (2014, July 21) Carlton Complex: 4 times size of Seattle Accessed July 21, 2014. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Adam Voiland. Instrument(s): Aqua-MODIS
- Fires in Indonesia, July 2014Terra and Aqua satellites detected 154 hotspots in areas across Riau province on Sunday, July 20, indicating forest and land fires had increased again following a decline in rainfall. The number of detected hotspots in Sunday's report was far higher than what had been reported one day prior, which had reached only 75 spots. The hotspots were scattered in six regencies and municipalities, most of which were in northern Riau coastal areas. Smoke and the related haze it creates could potentially spread via winds to Malaysia and Singapore as it seems to be doing in this image. The smoke released by any type of fire is a mixture of particles and chemicals produced by incomplete burning of carbon-containing materials. All smoke contains carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter (PM or soot). The type and amount of particles and chemicals in smoke varies depending on what is burning, how much oxygen is available, and the burn temperature. Smoke degrades air quality and precautions should be taken when around it. This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite on July 20, 2014. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner
- More People Means More Plant Growth, NASA Data ShowNew analysis shows that, on a global scale, the presence of people corresponds to more plant productivity.
Earth Observatory Features
- Where is the Hottest Place on Earth?
April 5, 2012
Although many places claim to be the hottest place on Earth only one can top the temperature scales. What does it mean to be hot? How does it effect how humans develop the land?
- World of Change: Aral Sea
Updated September 2011
A massive irrigation project in the Kyzylkum Desert of central Asia has devastated the Aral Sea over the past 50 years. These images show the continued decline.
- Seeing Forests for the Trees and the Carbon: Mapping the World's Forests in Three Dimensions
January 9, 2012
Earth has a carbon problem, and some think trees are the answer. Would it help to plant more? To cut down fewer? Does it matter where?
Classic Terra Features
- Terra Fact Sheet
This article provides an overview of the Terra mission.
- Learning to Fly
The launch and activation of Terra as seen through the eyes of mission control.
- Terra Turns Five
After five years in operation, Terra provides valuable scientific information about the cause and effects of environmental change.
- Earth Observatory 10th Anniversary
The idea of the Earth Observatory was hatched in the late 1990s to distribute images and information from the Terra mission.
- Perspectives: Why EOS Matters
These two opinion essays, written a decade apart, reflect on the value of the Terra mission and the Earth Observing System.