NASA

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Maps show spring arriving earlier

From Joshua Stevens at the NASA Earth Observatory: But over the longer term, climate change is causing spring to begin earlier and earlier across the United States. These maps reveal just how much earlier spring is arriving in National Parks across the country. The data were published in 2016 by ecologists from the National Park Service, working in collaboration with colleagues at other agencies and institutions. Griddy. Limited to only...

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The Moon in 4k resolution

Based on data gathered by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA pieced together this high-resolution tour of the moon. At the two-minute mark they zoom in on a boulder in the middle of a 100-million-year-old crater, and it blew my mind. Tags: high resolution, moon, NASA, space

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World population estimator and gridded data from NASA

Population data typically comes in the context of boundaries. City data. County data. Country data. With their Population Estimate Service, NASA provides data at higher granularity. You can request estimated population in the context of a world grid. Here’s an interactive map to demonstrate the API. Click and drag a shape across any region in the world and get an estimate of the population within that shape. [via kottke] Tags:...

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Simulation shows swirling of smoke, sea salt, and dust around the world

NASA. Data. Good. Tracking the aerosols carried on the winds let scientists see the currents in our atmosphere. This visualization follows sea salt, dust, and smoke from July 31 to November 1, 2017, to reveal how these particles are transported across the map. The first thing that is noticeable is how far the particles can travel. Smoke from fires in the Pacific Northwest gets caught in a weather pattern and...

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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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