NASA

8 posts
Thermal structure of Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria touched down in Puerto Rico. This visualization by Joshua Stevens at NASA shows what the thermal structure of the storm looked like, based on data collected by the Terra satellite. Colder clouds, which are generally higher in the atmosphere, are shown with white. Somewhat warmer, lower clouds appear purple. The image reveals a very well-defined eye surrounded by high clouds on all sides—an indication that the storm was...

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Detailed satellite view of iceberg break

Using the thermal signature, NASA provides a detailed view of the break: The false-color image was captured by Landsat’s Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). It shows the relative warmth or coolness of the landscape. Orange indicates where the surface is the warmest, most notably the mélange between the new berg and the ice shelf. Light blues and whites are the coldest areas, including the ice shelf and the iceberg. It’s like...

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New images of Earth at night

NASA just released a composite map of the world at night using satellite imagery from 2016. This is the first nighttime map since 2012, but the team behind the work hopes for bigger things with a more real-time system. For instance, daily nighttime imagery could be used to help monitor unregulated or unreported fishing. It could also contribute to efforts to track sea ice movements and concentrations. Researchers in Puerto...

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Following the carbon dioxide

This animated visualization from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center shows a model of carbon dioxide swirl around the planet, “using observations from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) satellite.” Tags: carbon, environment, NASA

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Mississippi drainage

Horace Mitchell for NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio mapped the massive drainage basin that is the Mississippi Watershed. The Mississippi Watershed is the largest drainage basin in North America at 3.2 million square kilometers in area. The USGS has created a database of this area which indicates the direction of waterflow at each point. By assembling these directions into streamflows, it is possible to trace the path of water from every...

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Oil fires in Iraq seen from above

Though far away, there’s still a lot you can see, as the NASA Earth Observatory notes: On August 17, 2016, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired an image (above) of dense smoke plumes roughly 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Mosul. There appear to be multiple sources of fire, most likely oil wells from the Qayyarah oil field. The images in the grid below show the plumes...

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One-year time-lapse of Earth

x Time-lapse from space by NASA: On July 20, 2015, NASA released to the world the first image of the sunlit side of Earth captured by the space agency’s EPIC camera on NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite. The camera has now recorded a full year of life on Earth from its orbit at Lagrange point 1, approximately 1 million miles from Earth, where it is balanced between the gravity of our home...

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Plant life cycle shows a breathing Earth

NASA mapped the annual cycle of all plant life on the planet in this animated map. Satellite instruments reveal the yearly cycle of plant life on the land and in the water. On land, the images represent the density of plant growth, while in the oceans they show the chlorophyll concentration from tiny, plant-like organisms called phytoplankton. From December to February, during the northern hemisphere winter, plant life in the...

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The Sun in ultra-HD

x Daang, NASA. Using images of the sun taken in space, NASA constructed this super-detailed view of what the star looks like. In space, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, keeps an eye on our nearest star 24/7. SDO captures images of the sun in 10 different wavelengths, each of which helps highlight a different temperature of solar material. In this video, we experience SDO images of the sun in...

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Pluto reflectance map: Whale and the Donut

Using images taken by New Horizons between June 27 and July 3, this is the latest NASA map informally named the Whale and the Donut. Now, use your imagination here (because space!). The dark area on left is the whale, representing about 1,860 miles of length, and the tail in the left corner is cupping the donut. Hopefully we'll get a better look come next week. I'm guessing they're an...

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