Earth from Above
{thumb} Earthrise over Moon -- 2002.11.13
In 1968, the Apollo 8 mission's impressive list of firsts includes: the first humans to journey to the Earth's Moon, the first manned flight using the Saturn V, and the first to photograph the Earth from deep space. This famous picture, showing the Earth rising above the Moon's limb as seen from lunar orbit, was a marvelous gift to the world.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2002.01.27. Apollo 8 Crew, NASA.
{thumb} Earth from Apollo -- 2002.11.14
In 1972 astronauts on the US's last lunar mission, Apollo 17, took this picture looking back at the Earth on their way to the moon. The continents of Antarctica and Africa are visible below the delicate wisps of white clouds.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 1995.06.22. NASA, Apollo 17, NSSDC.
{thumb} Blue Marble -- 2003.09.14
This reconstructed digital portrait of our planet is reminiscent of the Apollo-era pictures of the "big blue marble" Earth from space. Stunningly detailed, the planet's western hemisphere is cast so that heavy vegetation is green and sparse vegetation is yellow, while the heights of mountains and depths of valleys have been exaggerated by 50 times to make vertical relief visible.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2003.04.26. R. Stockli, A. Nelson, F. Hasler, NASA, GSFC, NOAA, USGS.
{thumb} Earth Terminator -- 2003.09.14
No sudden, sharp boundary marks the passage of day into night in this gorgeous view of ocean and clouds over Earth. Instead, the shadow line or terminator is diffuse and shows the gradual transition to darkness we experience as twilight. A clear high altitude layer, visible along the dayside's upper edge, scatters blue sunlight and fades into the blackness of space. Taken from the ISS at an altitude of 211 nautical miles.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2003.04.24. ISS Crew, Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Lab, JSC, NASA.
{thumb} Mir Solar Eclipse -- 2006.01.01
Here's how Earth appears during a solar eclipse, the Moon's shadow flashing across the planet at nearly 2000 kph. Only observers near the center of the dark circle see a total eclipse; others see a partial eclipse. This shot of the August 11, 1999 eclipse was made from the Mir space station.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2004.09.26. Mir 27 Crew. Copyright: CNES.
{thumb} Whole Earth -- 2002.11.14
Here are the true colors of planet Earth. Blue oceans dominate our world, while areas of green forest, brown mountains, tan desert, and white ice are also prominent. Oceans appear blue not only because water itself is blue but also because seawater frequently scatters light from a blue sky. Forests appear green because they contain chlorophyll, a pigment that preferentially absorbs red light.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2002.03.05. Reto Stockli (IACETH), MODIS, GSFC, NASA.
{thumb} Earth Lights -- 2003.09.19
What the Earth looks like at night, a composite of hundreds of pictures made by orbiting DMSP satellites. Human-made lights highlight particularly developed or populated areas of the Earth's surface. Particularly dark areas include the central parts of South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2002.08.10. C. Mayhew & R. Simmon (NASA/GSFC), NOAA/ NGDC, DMSP Digital Archive.
{thumb} Europe Night -- 2005.12.08
This fantasy of Europe at Night is a digital composite of archived satellite images. It is unlike what an astronaut would see, for instance it completely lacks clouds and exaggerates lights and contrasts. Even so, the underlying geography is captivating.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2005.12.07. Illustration Credit & Copyright: Planetary Visions Ltd.; Courtesy: Kevin M. Tildsley.
{thumb} London at Night -- 2005.12.31
City lights surrounding London, England, as seen from the International Space Station.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2003.04.11. ISS Crew, Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Lab, JSC, NASA.
{thumb} Ozone Hole -- 2002.11.13
2002's ozone hole near Earth's south pole was smaller than the preceding two years, and had an unusual double lobe structure. International efforts to reduce the use of damaging chemicals appear to be having a positive effect. The smaller size of the ozone hole, however, wass attributed mostly to warmer than normal air in the surrounding stratosphere.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2002.10.22, SVS, TOMS, NASA.
{thumb} Waves -- 2002.11.14
The pattern on the right half of this image of the Bay of Bengal is the result of two opposing wave trains colliding. The image covers an area 18 km (13 mi) wide and 15 km (9 mi) long in three bands of the reflected visible and IR region. The visible and near-infrared bands highlight surface waves due to specular reflection of sunlight off the wave faces.[=] Credits: NASA Visible Earth, Terra/Aster, 2000.03.29. NASA GSFC, MITI, ERSDAC, JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.
{thumb} Aleutian Islands -- 2002.11.14
Alaska's Aleutian Islands mark the northern rim of the Pacific Ring of Fire. On the south side of the Islands is the Aleutian trench, a deep depression caused by the bending of the Pacific Plate underneath the adjacent continental plate. The circular white patches of some of the volcanoes' snow-filled craters are visible up and down the island chain.[=] Credits: NASA Visible Earth, Terra/Modis, 2002.04.06. Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC.
{thumb} US Midwest -- 2002.11.14
This true-color image depicts the US Middle West, including fourteen states and three of the Great Lakes. The scene is unusually free of obscuring cloud cover, and allows a clear view of a number of Midwest cities and the nation's transportation infrastructure (highways and rivers).[=] Credits: NASA VIsible Earth, 2002.08.08. Jacques Descloitres, /TerraMODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC.
{thumb} Confluence -- 2006.02.22
The confluence of the Ohio (brown) and Mississippi (green) Rivers at Cairo, Illinois.[=] Credits: ISS Expedition 12 crew, NASA.
{thumb} Fox River Michigan -- 2006.01.19
Fall sets maple and birch aflame along the Fox River's east branch.[=] Credits: NGPOD, 2002.10.14. Photo by Jay Dickman, 1996. Copyright National Geographic Society, 2002.
{thumb} Wisconsin -- 2002.11.14
Snaking down from the upper left corner is the Mississippi, to the right of which lie Wisconsin and Illinois. Just below the center are four small lakes in a row; downtown Madison is between the top two of these lakes. North of Madison, forming a wiggly J-shape, is the Wisconsin River, which empties into the Mississippi. Straight east of Madison on Lake Michigan is Milwaukee.[=] Credits: I'm sure this is a USGS/Landsat image, but I haven't found a detailed reference.
{thumb} California Fires -- 2003.11.07
Roughly 440 miles of the Pacific coast from Bahia San Ramón in Baja California to Moro Bay, showing major forest and brush fires burning largely uncontrolled in late October, 2003, the hot Santa Ana winds blowing the dense smoke out to sea. The red marks show where actual blazes are.[=] Credits: Earth Observatory Natural Hazards Archive (earthobservatory.nasa.gov).
{thumb} Cabo San Lucas -- 2006.02.22
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico, a favorite spot for tourists, with mild winter weather and white sand beaches.[=] Credits: ISS Expedition 12 crew, NASA.
{thumb} Bahamas -- 2005.12.28
Scattered fires were burning on Cuba. To the center right of the image are the Bahamas, and at top the southern tip of Florida, including Lake Okeechobee (dark circle) and the Florida Everglades. The dense vegetation of the Everglades comes to an abrupt halt to the east, where a grayish strip marks the location of West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.[=] Credits: NASA Visible Earth, Terra/Modis, 2002.04.26. Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC.
{thumb} Bora Bora -- 2005.12.28
A popular tourist destination, a tropical paradise northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia.[=] Credits: NASA Visible Earth, Terra/Modis, 2002.04.26. Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC.
{thumb} Mt St Helens -- 2006.01.10
Afternoon lighting accents the flow features in the volcanic and debris flows and in the steep valleys eroded into the loosely consolidated material near the summit.[=] Credits: Live Science, 2005. ISS astronauts, NASA, 2002.10.25.
{thumb} New Zealand White Island -- 2006.01.03
White Island lies about 48 km (30 mi) northeast of New Zealand's North Island and is one of the country's most active volcanoes. Volcanic gas emissions produce a caustic environment: the crater lake has a pH of -0.6![=] Credits: EPOD archive, 2005.02.22. Greg Vaughan, JPL.
{thumb} Amazon Delta -- 2002.11.14
This true-color image shows the Amazon's heavy sediment (brownish water) emptying in the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river.[=] Credits: NASA Visible Earth, Terra/Modis, 2002.06.10. Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC.
{thumb} Peru Nasca Lines -- 2002.11.16
The Nasca Lines, on a desolate plain of the Peruvian coast 400 km south of Lima, were made by removing the iron-oxide coated pebbles covering the desert surface, revealing the light color below. Archaeologists have uncovered the lost city of the line-builders, Cahuachi, built nearly 2,000 years ago and mysteriously abandoned 500 years later.[=] Credits: USGS Landsat7, Terra/Aster, 2000.12.22. NASA/ GSFC/ MITI/ ERSDAC/ JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.
{thumb} Cairo -- 2002.11.11
The green triangle in the foreground of this view looking north over the Mediterranean is the Nile River delta. At the very bottom of the frame, the grey smudge straddling the Nile is Cairo. Proceeding to the right, the Suez Canal, the Sinai peninsula, Israel, Lebanon and Syria. To the north, Cyprus and beyond that Turkey.[=] Credits: NASA archives, Space Shuttle mission STS057, 1993.06.23.
{thumb} Greece and Turkey -- 2002.11.14
From the Black Sea into the Sea of Marmara into the Mediterranean Sea, the mountains of Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Turkey are swathed in brilliant greens and shades of golden brown; the Ionian, Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas are beautifully blue and green. The large island bottom center is Crete.[=] Credits: NASA Visible Earth, Terra/Modis, 2002.06.29. Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC.
{thumb} Grand Canyon Kaibab Plateau -- 2006.01.03
Taken from the window seat of a commuter plane, this photo's enhanced colors show clearly the layering and carving of the Canyon. Schist at the bottom of the canyon is over 1 billion years old, while the upper layers are millions of years younger.[=] Credits: EPOD archive, 2005.06.24. Photo by Thomas Krag.
{thumb} Prismatic Spring -- 2006.01.23
The center of Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Spring steams at 199 F (93 C), too hot for the multicolored bacteria clustering on the cooler perimeter. But billions of organisms called thermophiles flourish in the scalding center.[=] Credits: NGPOD, 2001.08.02. Photo by George Steinmetz, 1998. Copyright National Geographic Society, 2001.
{thumb} Ayres Rock -- 2006.01.15
Ayers Rock is in Kata Tjuta National Park, 280 mi (450 km) southwest of Alice Springs, Australia. It is the world's largest monolith, an Aboriginal sacred site and Australia's most famous natural landmark.[=] Credits: Live Science, 2005. Photo by IKONOS satellite, 2004.01.17, courtesy Space Imaging.
{thumb} Lena Delta -- 2002.11.16
The Lena River, some 2,800 miles (4,400 km) long, is one of the largest rivers in the world. The Lena Delta Reserve is the most extensive protected wilderness area in Russia. It is an important refuge and breeding grounds for many species of Siberian wildlife.[=] Credits: USGA Landsat7, 2000.07.27.
{thumb} Siberia -- 2002.11.14
To the east of snow-covered Siberia (upper left), an area of low air pressure over the Bering Sea is drawing air toward its center in a counterclockwise swirl. Low-pressure systems are often associated with winter storms, and ones like this can move across the Bering Sea and bring a blast of wintry weather to Alaska.[=] Credits: NASA Visible Earth, Terra/Modis, 2002.04.18. Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC.
{thumb} Baghdad -- 2002.11.14
Baghdad is the capital city of Iraq. With a population of over 5 million, it is one of the largest cities in the Middle East.[=] Credits: USGS Landsat7, 2001.05.30.
{thumb} Kandahar Airport -- 2002.11.14
The airport at Kandahar, Afghanistan soon after the US war there. To judge by the craters perfectly lined up on the runways, it was amazingly accurate bombing.[=] Credits: Sorry, I don't know where I found this aerial photo, and a search has not turned it up again.
{thumb} Persian Gulf -- 2002.11.14
Desert sands flowing from the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers into the Persian Gulf.[=] Credits: NASA Visible Earth, Terra/Modis, 2002.05.03. Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC.
{thumb} Saudi Dunes -- 2003.09.20
Pivot irrigation near the city of As Sulayyil (Sulayel), Saudi Arabia. The edge of the Rub' al-Khali or Empty Quarter, the largest area of continuous sand in the world, is visible in the southeast.[=] Credits: ISS Earthkam.
{thumb} Namib Nakluft NP -- 2002.11.14
Namib-Naukluft National Park is an ecological preserve in Namibia's vast Namib Desert. Coastal winds create the tallest sand dunes in the world here, with some dunes reaching 980 feet (300 meters) in height.[=] Credits: Landsat7, Earth as Art, 2002.08.12.
{thumb} Richat Mauritania 1 -- 2002.11.14
The Richat Structure, in the Mauritanian desert, is nearly 50 km across and easily visible from space as a bulleye in the otherwise relatively featureless desert (near the top and center of this picture). Once considered an impact crater, it is now thought to be uplifted rock sculpted by erosion. That it's nearly circular remains a mystery.[=] Credits: NASA Visible Earth, Terra/Modis, 2002.06.07. Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC.
{thumb} Richat Mauritania 2 -- 2002.11.17
The Richat Structure, in the Mauritanian desert, is nearly 50 km across and easily visible from space. Once considered an impact crater, it is now thought to be uplifted rock sculpted by erosion. That it's nearly circular remains a mystery.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2002.10.28. Landsat 7, USGS, NASA.
{thumb} Mauritania Desert -- 2006.01.15
Fluid curves of Saharan sand dunes greet a camel caravan in Mauritania, West Africa. Oasis towns in Mauritania were once important stops on the trade routes between the Sahel and Morocco.[=] Credits: NGPOD, 2003.07.21. Photo by George Steinmetz, 1997. Copyright National Geographic Society, 2003.
{thumb} Ngorongoro Caldera -- 2006.01.31
The large round feature is the caldera of the extinct volcano Ngorongoro in Tanzania, surrounded by smaller volcanoes, all associated with the Great Rift Valley, which runs 2,995 mi (4,830 km) from Syria to central Mozambique.[=] Credits: NASAPOD, 2006.01.30. Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.
{thumb} Terkezi Oasis -- 2002.11.16
Only 10,000 years ago grasses and mammals abounded in the region of the Sahara, now only vast plains of sand, gravel and barren mountains. Oases are usually centered on natural water springs. Shown here is a colorful, rocky area 50 km wide near the Terkezi Oasis in Chad.[=] Credits: APOD archive, 2002.11.12. Landsat 7, NASA.
{thumb} Hurricane Wilma -- 2006.02.22
Hurricane Wilma, seen at 08:23 CDT Wednesday 2005.20.19 by the crew of the International Space Station, 222 miles above the Caribbean.[=] Credits: ISS Expedition 12 crew, NASA.
{thumb} Indiana Tornado -- 2006.01.03
On Nov 6, 2005, an F3 tornado tracked 20 mi (32 km) across southern Indiana, killing 23 and injuring over 200. This aerial photo shows the circular rotation patterns along a portion of the twister's right-to-left swath across open fields and a road.[=] Credits: EPOD archive, 2005.11.22. Photo by Lawrence Judy.
{thumb} My House -- 2002.11.13
The TerraServer web site can show you your house (if it's in the U.S.), but finding it can be arduous. Circled is the 1100 sq ft house I've lived in for over 39 years, set on a standard 40x120 ft city lot. It's a very small domain but all mine, what can I say? There are two nice parks nearby (partly visible here).[=] Credits: Original image from USGS. Artwork by Jess Anderson.