The August Complex Fire and others this fire season have been sending far-reaching plumes of wildfire smoke into the atmosphere that worsen air quality in California and beyond. Predicting where that smoke will travel and how bad the air will be downwind is a challenge, but Earth-observing satellites can help.
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Kathryn Hansen.
At about 10:45 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) on September 14, 2014, Hurricane Odile made landfall as a Category 3 storm near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Odile arrived with wind speeds of 110 knots (204 kilometers or 127 miles per hour). The storm tied Olivia (1967) as the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the state of Baja California Sur in the satellite era.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this natural-color view of the storm at about noon MDT on September 14, when it was still southeast of the Baja California peninsula. Unisys Weather reported that the Category 4 storm had maximum sustained wind speeds of 115 knots (213 kilometers per hour) at the time. Read more
Student winners of NASA’s 2014 educational “REEL Science Communication Contest” have completed their follow-on Earth science videos after a month-long workshop with NASA scientists and communication experts.
In May of 2014, NASA Earth science missions at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, selected winners of their second annual video contest for high school students. The student winners each produced two-minute videos that communicate NASA Earth science to engage younger students. Winners were awarded the opportunity to work remotely with NASA experts to create new Earth science videos for NASA outreach.
Throughout July, contest winners Lena Korkeila from Placerville, California; Anna and Geof Olson from Santa Cruz, California; and Heather Forster, Sofia Bialkowski and Suzie Petryk from Huntington, New York, learned about NASA Earth science missions, communication efforts and video production. Working with people from the Terra, Aqua and ICESat-2 Earth science missions and Goddard’s Office of Communications, the students pitched video ideas, wrote their scripts, identified NASA footage and visualizations, found or created accompanying music and recorded their narrations. Read more
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. Caption by Adam Voiland.
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of farmland near LaCrosse, Washington, on July 24, 2008. The false-color image was assembled using infrared, red, and green wavelengths of light. This combination is useful for observing vegetation and monitoring its health. Areas with the most vigorous crops, grasses, and trees are bright red. Areas where vegetation is drying or dormant are darker shades of brown and gray. Areas with no red are likely fallow or being prepared for seeding. Read more
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Adam Voiland.
The natural-color satellite image below offers both a modern and historical context. Captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, it shows heavy pollution heading toward Beijing, China, on December 12, 2013. If satellites had been flying in the first half of the 20th century, it’s reasonable to assume that skies over the eastern United States or Europe would have looked something like this on some days. Read more
NASA Official: Kurtis ThomeWebmaster: 610 WebDevCurator: Tassia OwenLast Updated: Jan 18, 2021