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
If you live in the northern hemisphere, the past few weeks have been strange. In places where it should be seasonably hot—the eastern and southern United States and western Europe—it’s just been warm. In places where weather is usually mild in the summer—northern Europe, the Pacific coast of North America—it has been ridiculously hot. Read more
NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using data from the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LPDAAC). Caption by Michael Carlowicz, with image interpretation from Bill Patzert (NASA JPL), Jason Samenow (The Washington Post) and Linus Magnusson (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting).
In early August 2014, not one but two hurricanes were headed for the Hawaiian Islands. Storms arriving from the east are a relative rarity, and landfalling storms are also pretty infrequent.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of Hurricane Iselle over the Pacific Ocean at 10:40 a.m. Hawaiian time (1940 Universal Time) on August 4, 2014. Shortly after the image was acquired, the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported that Iselle was a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds at 120 knots (140 miles or 220 kilometers per hour) and centered at 16.10° north latitude, 137.40° west longitude. Read more
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Mike Carlowicz.
In its weekly report issued on July 31, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported that 82 percent of the state of California was in an extreme drought and 58 percent was in exceptional drought—up from 79 and 36 percent just two weeks ago. The drying of farmlands and suburbs is mirrored by the shrinking of the state’s reservoirs.
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft captured these false-color views of central California on April 5, 2011 (top), and May 15, 2014. ASTER collects data in infrared, red, and green wavelengths of light, which are then combined to make false-color images where vegetation appears red; buildings and roads are white and gray; water is dark blue; and dry, barren land is tan. Read more
NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen, using data from NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. Caption by Michael Carlowicz.