This Earth Day we invite you to explore our planet with imagery available through NASA's Worldview satellite imagery exploration tool. In the following images, you'll see tropical cyclones developing, reservoirs filling after torrential rain, wildfires spreading, and urban centers expanding. With NASA Worldview, you can also take a snapshot, create an animated GIF, or compare imagery from two dates to view changes over time. Start your Worldview explorations with these examples:
- Hurricane Ian 2022
- San Luis Reservoir, California
- Mullica River Fire, New Jersey
- After Decades, Iceberg B-22A Drifts Out to Sea
- Urban Sprawl: Las Vegas, Nevada
Learn more about NASA Earth science data and exploring these data in Worldview:
Hurricane Ian 2022
This true-color image from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the NOAA-20 satellite shows Hurricane Ian making landfall just south of Punta Gorda, Florida, on September 28, 2022. Ian was a Category 5 hurricane with wind speeds of 155 miles per hour. The powerful storm caused a catastrophic storm surge south of Tampa that, along with over 20 inches of rain, caused major flooding across the peninsula all the way to the Atlantic coast.
- Explore this image of Hurricane Ian in Worldview.
- View an animation of Hurricane Ian moving toward western Florida, just south of Tampa (press the "play" button in the animation control panel in the lower center of the screen).
- Turn the nighttime lights imagery layer on and off by clicking on the “eye” icon next to the imagery layer (Note: This must be done before you press play for the animation).
San Luis Reservoir, California
These Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 (HLS) images were acquired by the Multi-Spectral Instrument aboard the ESA (European Space Agency) Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B satellites. On December 1, 2022, the water level in California's San Luis reservoir (the fifth largest in the state) was estimated to be at one-quarter of its capacity. Thanks to the series of atmospheric rivers that brought record-breaking amounts of rain and snow to the state in early 2023, the reservoir is now nearly full.
- Interact with the before-and-after comparison image of the San Luis reservoir.
- With your cursor, toggle left and right between the January 1 image (A side) and the April 1 image (B side) to view changes in the reservoir’s water levels.
- In the April 1 observation, notice that the southern tip of the reservoir, which was dry just three months prior, now has water.
- Adjust the year, month, and date in the lower left corner for multiple-year comparisons.
Mullica River Fire, New Jersey
This Black Marble Nighttime Blue/Yellow Composite (Day/Night Band) image from the VIIRS instrument aboard the NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite shows the Mullica River Fire burning southeast of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and northwest of Atlantic City, New Jersey, on June 20, 2022. The fire ignited on June 19, 2022, and grew to more than 12,000 acres over a 24-hour period. Fortunately, by the evening of June 21, the fire was mostly contained.
- Explore this image of the Mullica River Fire using NASA Worldview.
- In this comparison image, use your mouse to swipe the center bar left and right to see how the active fire detections (in red) on the left correspond to the yellow "night lights" in the image of the same night on the right; this is in sharp contrast to all of the other yellow nighttime lights emanating from surrounding cities, towns, and major roadways.
- View the fires in comparison to the city lights near the Wharton State Forest, where the fire started; on the right side (“B” side) of this comparison, click on the red active fire vectors (shown as red dots) to reveal information about that fire including latitude and longitude, and fire radiative power (radiant heat output from the fire).
- Compare nighttime lights vs. the daytime smoke plume.
- View the burn scar from the fire (seen as a reddish area near the center of the image).
After Decades, Iceberg B-22A Drifts to Sea
The massive B-22 iceberg, originally the size of Rhode Island, still measures more than 3,000 square kilometers and has only moved 100 km (60 miles) from where it calved off from the once extensive floating ice tongue of Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier in 2002.
- Explore this image of iceberg B-22 in Worldview.
- View an animation of the iceberg's movement from October 24, 2022, to March 26, 2023.
- Adjust the speed at which the animation is playing by dragging the frames per second widget in the animation toolbar from 8 frames to 4 frames.
- Adjust the date to view a snapshot in time by clicking on the year, month, and day in the lower left corner.
Urban Sprawl: Las Vegas, Nevada
The population of metropolitan Las Vegas has grown significantly over the last 30 years, from 530,000 people in 1984 to more than 2.8 million in 2022. HLS imagery and data support a wide range of applications, such as assessments of plant health, ecological monitoring, impacts of fires and other natural hazards, population growth, and more.
- Compare the footprint of Las Vegas in October 24, 1984, with the same footprint acquired on November 24, 2022.
- Turn on the place labels by clicking on the Place Labels imagery layer on the reference layer panel on the left.
- View the difference in the amount of water in Lake Mead by comparing both images.
Whether you are a scientist, an educator, a student, or just interested in learning more about how to use all the openly available data in NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) collection, we have the resources to help! NASA's Earthdata Learn page will help you find what you need to get started with NASA Earth science data, services, and tools.
Getting Started with NASA Worldview Tutorial (December 2021)
In this tutorial, learn how to use NASA's Worldview imagery mapping and visualization application. We'll show you how to explore and visualize over 1,000 NASA Earth science satellite imagery layers, many of which are available within hours, even minutes, and spanning back 20 years. Worldview has been used for time-critical applications such as monitoring and managing wildfires, supporting science through easy-to-access satellite imagery archives, illustrating disasters and natural events in the media, and facilitating education and outreach. We show you how to create and export an image snapshot, animate imagery to see changes over time, compare imagery from different dates or different types of imagery from the same date, explore vector data layers like Fires and Thermal Anomalies, and much more!