NASA

3 posts
Climate spiral to show temperature change

Say what you will about circular visualization, but the spiral plays. This one from NASA shows global temperature change over time: The visualization presents monthly global temperature anomalies between the years 1880-2021. These temperatures are based on the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP v4), an estimate of global surface temperature change. Anomalies are defined relative to a base period of 1951-1980. The data file used to create this visualization can...

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Launching a telescope to explore the Big Bang

NASA is launching the James Webb Space Telescope on December 22, 2021 with an objective to collect data on light from 13.8 billion light-years away. Using 3-D models from NASA, Rahul Mukherjee and Lorena Iñiguez Elebee for The Los Angeles Times show how the $10 billion telescope works and how NASA plans to launch the telescope into orbit a million miles from Earth. Nothing to it. Tags: Los Angeles Times,...

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Launching a telescope to explore the Big Bang

NASA is launching the James Webb Space Telescope on December 22, 2021 with an objective to collect data on light from 13.8 billion light-years away. Using 3-D models from NASA, Rahul Mukherjee and Lorena Iñiguez Elebee for The Los Angeles Times show how the $10 billion telescope works and how NASA plans to launch the telescope into orbit a million miles from Earth. Nothing to it. Tags: Los Angeles Times,...

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NASA solar probe touched the sun

NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe in 2018 in an effort to explore closer to the sun. The probe recently flew through and out of the Sun’s upper atmosphere to successfully sample particles and magnetic fields. Amazing. The video above from NASA explains the origins, challenges, and future of the project. I want all government agencies to release videos like this. Tags: NASA, Parker, sun

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Animated map of microplastics in the ocean

Using estimates based on satellite data, Joshua Stevens for NASA Earth Observatory mapped the concentration of microplastics in the ocean over time: Researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) recently developed a new method to map the concentration of ocean microplastics around the world. The researchers used data from eight microsatellites that are part of the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) mission. Radio signals from GPS satellites reflect off...

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A view from the Moon’s south pole

NASA Goddard visualized the point of view from the south pole of the Moon, based on years of data collection to map the Moon’s surface. The result is a data-based time-lapse that shows Earth moving up and down and long shadows because the run shines at a low angle. It’s a neat contrast to what we see from Earth and makes me wonder what other points of view there are....

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New Orleans power outage seen via satellite imagery

After Hurricane Ida, New Orleans experienced power outages. The NASA Earth Observatory show the outages by comparing night lights on August 31, 2021 against night lights on August 9, 2021: VIIRS has a low-light sensor—the day/night band—that measures light emissions and reflections. This capability has made it possible to distinguish the intensity, types, and sources of lights and to observe how they change. The data are then processed by the...

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Decade-long time-lapse of the sun

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has been taking a picture of the sun every 0.75 seconds for a decade. Above is a time-lapse of the resulting 20 million gigabytes of data: This 10-year time lapse showcases photos taken at a wavelength of 17.1 nanometers, which is an extreme ultraviolet wavelength that shows the Sun’s outermost atmospheric layer — the corona. Compiling one photo every hour, the movie condenses a decade of...

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Map shows how NASA satellites collect global rain data

We can download data as a single snapshot in a single file, but oftentimes that data is generated piece-by-piece. In the map above, NASA shows how they piece together rain data with a network of satellites: The ten currently-flying satellites in the Global Precipitation Measurement Constellation provide unprecedented information about the rain and snow across the entire Earth. This visualization shows the constellation in action, taking precipitation measurements underneath the...

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Arctic ice melting

One way to gauge the amount of ice in the Arctic is to look at the average age of the ice. From the NASA Scientific Visualization Studio, the map above shows the estimated age of ice on a monthly basis, going back to 1984: One significant change in the Arctic region in recent years has been the rapid decline in perennial sea ice. Perennial sea ice, also known as multi-year...

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