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A seamless image mosaic of the Earth. This spectacular view is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer of our planet. Much of the information contained in this image came from a single remote-sensing device - NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, flying over 700 km above the earth onboard the Terra satellite. The land and coastal ocean portions of these images are based on surface observations collected from June through September 2001 and combined, or composited, every eight days to compensate for clouds that might block the sensor's view of the surface on any single day. Two different types of ocean data were used in these images: shallow water true color data and global ocean color (or chlorophyll) data. Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio.
A view of the world by night. The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated. (Compare Western Europe with China and India.) Cities tend to grow along coastlines and transportation networks. The US interstate highway system appears as a lattice connecting the brighter dots of city centers. In Russia, the Trans-Siberian railroad is a thin line stretching eastward. The Nile River, from the Aswan Dam to the Mediterranean Sea, is another bright thread through an otherwise dark region. Image courtesy of NASA.
High-resolution global atmospheric modeling run on the Discover supercomputer at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., provides a unique tool to study the role of weather in Earth's climate system. The Goddard Earth Observing System Model, Version 5 (GEOS-5) is capable of simulating worldwide weather at resolutions of 10 to 3.5 km (6 to 2 mi). This portrait of global aerosols was produced by a GEOS-5 simulation at a 10-km resolution. Dust (red) is lifted from the surface, sea salt (blue) swirls inside cyclones, smoke (green) rises from fires, and sulfate particles (white) stream from volcanoes and fossil fuel emissions. Image courtesy of NASA.
A global view of the Arctic on 21 September 2005. In support of International Polar Year, a matching pair of images (this one and the next) showing a global view of the Arctic and Antarctic were generated in poster-size resolution. Both images are of the same day, the date at which the sea ice was at its minimum extent in the north. Shown in this view is all of North America and the northern portion of South America. Image courtesy of NASA.
A global view over Asia on 21 September 2005 - the day on which Arctic sea ice was at its minimum for the year. Land areas display the average seasonal landcover from September 2004. Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio.
A global view of the Antarctic on 21 September 2005. This image presents the entire Antarctic region, most of the Southern Ocean, large portions of the southern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the island of Madagascar and southern Africa. Image courtesy of NASA.
A combination of datasets from different satellites makes possible this beautiful 'Blue Marble' view of the Pacific Ocean. The string of islands across the top are the Aleutian chain of Alaska; the Hawaiian islands appear along the bottom. Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio.
A MODIS-derived image displaying global snow cover over northern Eurasia during the winter of 2001-02. Image courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio.
Recalling the famous Apollo-era pictures of Earth taken by lunar astronauts, this digital image is a spectacular portrait of the Western Hemisphere at the time of one of the strongest hurricanes ever observed in the Eastern Pacific. This combination of science, engineering, and artistry was generated by researchers using data from three different Earth-observing satellite instruments. The research team's goal was to assemble an image that recreates the visceral impact of viewing Earth from space with human eyes. The prominent storm raging off the west coast of North America is Hurricane Linda. Other obvious features include the shallow waters of the Caribbean and sediments around the mouth of the Amazon River. Image courtesy of the Laboratory for Atmospheres at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.
This global view of city lights in the Western Hemisphere is a composite assembled from satellite data acquired over nine days in April 2012 and 13 days in October 2012. It took 312 orbits to get a clear shot of every parcel of Earth's land surface and islands. This new data was then mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet. Image courtesy of NASA.
A global view of the Eastern Hemisphere at night assembled from satellite data. Europe and the Middle East are fairly well defined by city lights or gas flares, but much of the southern half of the image - including most of Africa and South Asia - is relatively dark. Image courtesy of NASA.
Apollo 11 Earth-rise from lunar orbit. Image courtesy of NASA.
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