Image from TERRA
Wed, 10 Oct 2018 13:03 EDT

More than 400 miles above Earth, a satellite the size of a school bus is earning its frequent flyer miles. On Oct. 6, NASA’s Terra completed 100,000 orbits around Earth. Terra, which launched Dec. 18, 1999, is projected to continue operation into the 2020s.

Image from TERRA
Fri, 14 Sep 2018 01:33 EDT

NASA's MISR instrument captures Hurricane Florence just off the East Coast. Data from two of its nine cameras is combined to show the storm in 3D

Image from TERRA
Mon, 27 Aug 2018 16:33 EDT

For the first time ever, measurements from NASA Earth-observing research satellites are being used to help combat a potential outbreak of life-threatening cholera. Humanitarian teams in Yemen are targeting areas identified by a NASA-supported project that precisely forecasts high-risk regions based on environmental conditions observed from space.

Month: April 2014

China’s Great Wall of Dust

NASA images courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

A wall of dust was barreling across northern China on April 23, 2014, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) acquired these images from NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites. The top image was taken at 12:35 p.m. local time, and the lower image is from 2:20 p.m. Turn on the image comparison tool to see how far the dust advanced in the two hours between images. Read more

NASA images courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

MODIS Science Team Meeting April 29 – May 1

The 2014 MODIS Science Team Meeting will take place at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel in Columbia, MD from April 29th through May 1. Please see the agenda for times of sessions and a list of speakers.

Ship Wave Clouds Behind the Crozet Islands

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

Air flows like water in the atmosphere with invisible currents and waves. On April 9, 2014, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this view that evokes fluid-like movement in the atmosphere. Ship wave clouds fan out behind the Crozet Islands over the southern Indian Ocean looking exactly like the ripples behind a rock in a stream or the waves behind a boat moving through calm water. Read more

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

Painting with Islands and Sunglint

NASA image courtesy LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Adam Voiland and Michael Carlowicz.

The satellites in NASA’s Earth Observing System collect data and imagery for scientific research. The data goes to one of twelve Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) across the United States, where it is processed and distributed to scientists who mine it for clues about our environment.

But sometimes the imagery is remarkable simply for its beauty. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite looked down on the Lesser Antilles on August 1, 2013, the combination of sunlight, islands, and wind painted this scene on the surface of the Caribbean Sea. The right side of the image has a milky hue because of sunglint, an optical effect caused by the mirror-like reflection of sunlight off the water surface directly back at the satellite sensor. Read more

NASA image courtesy LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Adam Voiland and Michael Carlowicz.

Drifting with Ice Island B31

NASA images by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Michael Carlowicz.

In early November 2013, a large iceberg separated from the front of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. It thus began a journey across Pine Island Bay, a basin of the Amundsen Sea. The ice island, named B31, will likely be swept up soon in the swift currents of the Southern Ocean, though it will be hard to track visually for the next six months as Antarctica heads into winter darkness.

Over the course of five months in Antarctic spring and summer, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)—an instrument on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites—captured a series of images of ice island B31. Read more

NASA images by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Michael Carlowicz.