Image from TERRA
Mon, 30 Oct 2017 12:25 EDT

Former Tropical Storm Saola transitioned into an extra-tropical storm on Oct. 29 as it tracked southeast of the big island of Japan.

Image from TERRA
Tue, 24 Oct 2017 11:36 EDT

When Typhoon Lan made landfall in Japan on Oct. 22, the Global Precipitation Measurement mission core satellite or GPM analyzed the storm and added up the high rainfall that it generated.

Image from TERRA
Tue, 24 Oct 2017 09:22 EDT

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 the landscape.

Year: 2013

Terra Turns 14

Terra is now well into her teenage years, but is by no means setting records for the longest operating satellite.  In fact, Terra has only been collecting data half as long as Landsat 5, which set the record for longest operating satellite last year after operating for 28 years and 10 months.  Terra has surpassed its intended design life by 8 years, but it is still collecting meaningful data, giving scientists insight into how different systems on Earth effect each other.

Beyond Terra’s contributions to scientific research, it continues to help monitor forest fires, equipping land managing agencies with the ability to track a fire’s progress and identify areas of concern.  Terra also continues to witness phytoplankton blooms, monitor changes in ice shelves, witness volcanic eruptions, and track dust, haze and smog as it travels from its source. Terra is improving climate and weather models, helping forecasters make better predictions.

In addition to Terra’s scientific and climate contributions, it continues to showcase how the United States in partnership with other countries, like Japan and Canada, can work together to increase knowledge and gain a better understanding of Earth’s varying climate and the interconnectedness of Earth’s systems. Since Terra’s launch, other satellites such as the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), expected to launch in 2014, have followed Terra’s lead by partnering with other countries to provide scientist’s with a wide array of information to better understand Earth.

 

Rare Middle Eastern Snow Seen by Terra

NASA image courtesy EOSDIS Worldview at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

A rare winter storm dropped snow across much of the Middle East between December 10 and 13, 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image of the snow on December 15 after the clouds cleared. For the most part, the snow is confined to higher elevations in Syrian, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel and West Bank, and Jordan. Some lower-elevation desert regions in Syria are snowy. Read more

NASA image courtesy EOSDIS Worldview at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

Terra Sees Smog Shroud China China

Chinahaze_tmo_2013341

China suffered another severe bout of air pollution in December 2013. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image on December 7, 2013, thick haze stretched from Beijing to Shanghai, a distance of about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles). For comparison, that is about the distance between Boston, Massachusetts, and Raleigh, North Carolina. The brightest areas are clouds or fog. Polluted air appears gray. While northeastern China often faces outbreaks of extreme smog, it is less common for pollution to spread so far south. Read more

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland.

Terra Sees Blanket of Snow over Great Lakes

The Grand Rapids Press out of Grand Rapids Michigan featured an image from MODIS onboard Terra.  It clearly shows whispy white fingers erupting off the Great Lakes and blanketing most of Michigan and other surrounding areas in clouds that produced at least 4 inches of snow in some areas. Read the article

Terra at AGU

Terra and her instruments made an appearance in many of the presentations at the American Geophysical Union’s 46th annual Fall Meeting held December 9th – 13th. Scientists, researchers, students and educators gathered to present groundbreaking research and connect with colleagues.

The presentations showcased the versatility and interconnectedness of the instrument suite onboard Terra.

The presentation, Evaluating MOPITT and ACE Upper-Tropospheric Carbon Monoxide Retrievals with HIPPO In-Situ Measurements showed how MOPITT CO levels were validated and contrasted by the Fourier Transform Spectrometer on board the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE-FTS), from the Canadian Space Agency and the Quantum Cascade Laser Spectrometer on the HIAPER Pole to Pole Observations experiment (HIPPO-QCLS).

In Comparing Land Surface and Air Temperatures of Urban Heat Islands Over the Contiguous USA the research team overlaid the National Land Cover Database Impervious Surface Area map over the local air temperatures from the Global Historical Climatology Network station distribution map, identifying over 300 urban settlements and comparing local air temperatures versus the land surface temperatures at night and at midday. They found that the observed temperature change was evident in both sets of data, however the magnitude differed.

Assessment of Urbanization Impact on the Continental US Surface Climate showcased the assessment of interactions between urban and different vegetation classes to understand vegetation control on urband heat islands hourly and seasonal dynamics.

NASA and U.S. Geological Survey Long-Term Archive for the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) outlines plans for archiving ASTER data through the US Geological Survey.
These were only a few of the presentations at AGU.  To attend virtual sessions on demand, search the poster and presentation archive and learn more about how Terra is impacting Earth science visit the AGU fall meeting website.