The Home Frontier

Everyone knows that NASA studies space; fewer people know that NASA also studies Earth. Since the agency's creation more than 50 years ago, NASA has been a world leader in space-based studies of our home planet. Our mission has always been to explore, to discover, and to understand the world in which we live from the unique vantage point of space, and to share our newly gained perspectives with the public. That spirit of sharing remains true today as NASA operates 18 of the most advanced Earth-observing satellites ever built, helping scientists make some of the most detailed observations ever made of our world.

What is your vision of what makes NASA Earth Science inspiring? NASA's Earth Day Video Contest is your chance to create that vision. Dig around these pages below as a place to start. Find more about the contest here:

Collections of Earth Imagery

link to gallery item Earth As Art Earth As Art
A collection of images from the Landsat satellites, made for aesthetic purposes rather than scientific interpretation. Created by the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center of the US Geological Survey.
link to gallery item HD Video - Earth Views From Space HD Video - Earth Views From Space
HD footage of Earth from the International Space Station and Space Shuttle. Traveling at an approximate speed of 17,500 miles per hour, and orbiting Earth every 90 minutes from an altitude of approximately 220 miles. Footage is in Apple ProRes 422 format, 1280x720 aspect ratio, 59.94 fps.
link to gallery item Blue Marble Blue Marble
A year's worth of monthly composites at a spatial resolution of 500 meters. These monthly images reveal seasonal changes to the land surface: the green-up and dying-back of vegetation in temperate regions such as North America and Europe, dry and wet seasons in the tropics, and advancing and retreating Northern Hemisphere snow cover.
link to gallery item Astronaut Photography of the Earth Astronaut Photography of the Earth
Beginning with the Mercury missions in the early 1960s, astronauts have taken photographs of the Earth. Images coming down from the International Space Station are processed on a daily basis and added to the 1,069,478 views of the Earth already made accessible on this website.
link to gallery item Planetary Photojournal Planetary Photojournal
A photo album of the Earth, from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
link to gallery item Visible Earth Visible Earth
A collection of NASA images and animations of our home planet. Contains some of the other collections listed on this page.
link to gallery item NASA Images NASA Images
NASA Images contains everything from classic photos to educational programming and HD video, in order to bring public access to NASA's image, video, and audio collections in a single, searchable resource. A partnership between NASA and the Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library.
link to gallery item Images of the Earth From Planetary Spacecraft Images of the Earth From Planetary Spacecraft
While the Apollo program was providing iconic views of Earth as a colorful marble in black space, the Soviets were capturing similarly dramatic images from their Zond flyby craft. The Planetary Society collects this imagery, whether U.S., Russian, Japanese, European, or Indian. They also have a collection of Earth views from geostationary satellites.
link to gallery item NASA Earth Observations NASA Earth Observations
The images to help you picture climate change and environmental changes happening on our home planet. You can search for and retrieve satellite images of Earth. Download them; export them to GoogleEarth; perform basic analysis.
link to gallery item USGS Earth Resources Observations and Science (EROS) Center USGS Earth Resources Observations and Science (EROS) Center
Providing science and imagery to better understand our Earth, EROS archives remotely sensed images of the Earth's land surface. These data are acquired by civilian satellites and aircraft and used to study a wide range of natural hazards, global environmental change, and economic development and conservation issues.
link to gallery item Earth Observatory - Image of the Day Earth Observatory - Image of the Day
The Earth Observatory's mission is to share with the public the images, stories, and discoveries about climate and the environment that emerge from NASA research, including its satellite missions, in-the-field research, and climate models.
link to gallery item Earth Science Picture of the Day Earth Science Picture of the Day
The Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) highlights the diverse processes and phenomena which shape our planet and our lives. EPOD will collect and archive photos, imagery, graphics, and artwork with short explanatory captions and links exemplifying features within the Earth system.
link to gallery item Our Changing Planet: The View From Space Our Changing Planet: The View From Space
This book is one of the most comprehensive and truly understandable collections of eye-popping NASA satellite imagery, as well as the current science behind it, and what it all means in terms of global climate change. It is published by Cambridge University Press.
link to gallery item Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD) Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD)
Yearly mosaics of the coterminous United States and Alaska, from 2005 onwards, composited from Landsat data.

Animations and Visualizations

link to gallery item Climate Essentials Climate Essentials
The latest and most popular climate-related images, data visualizations and video features from Goddard Space Flight Center all on one web page.
link to gallery item Hurricanes and Typhoons Hurricanes and Typhoons
Our best visual content on hurricanes and typhoons, including visualizations of data on how hurricanes form.
link to gallery item Our Warming World Our Warming World
The impact of a warming world is being manifested in a variety of ways, and we can see it from space. A gallery of pictures taken by NASA satellites looking down at planet Earth.
link to gallery item El Niño and La Niña El Niño and La Niña
A series of visualizations of data from several years of El Niño and La Niña events, including sea surface temperatures.
link to gallery item Operation IceBridge Operation IceBridge
The largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown. Great photos of sea ice, glaciers, and dramatic cliffs.
link to gallery item Antarctica Antarctica
From snow dunes to ice shelves, our animations and videos of Antarctica are collected here. Also, check out these detailed images from the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA).
link to gallery item A-Train A-Train
The Afternoon Train, or "A-Train," for short, is a constellation of satellites that travel along the same track as they orbit Earth. From aerosols to ozone, the A-Train whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


link to gallery item Copyright Free Classical Music Copyright Free Classical Music
A non-profit focused on improving access and exposure to music by creating free resources and educational materials. They provide recordings, sheet music, and textbooks to the public for free, without copyright restrictions, including all of the Beethoven piano sonatas.
link to gallery item Moby's Free Film Music Moby's Free Film Music
Moby has provided a selection of tracks for filmmakers in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short. You will need to register to download tracks.

Unsolicited Advice on Copyright

link to gallery item Code of Best Practices in Fair Use Code of Best Practices in Fair Use
At American University, the Center for Social Media, with the Washington College of Law, are producing tools for creators, teachers, and researchers to better use their fair use rights. May we also suggest their Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video?
link to gallery item Use of NASA Imagery and the NASA Logo Use of NASA Imagery and the NASA Logo
In general, NASA images are not copyrighted, and are available for use for educational or informational purposes. However, the NASA logo (known as the blue "meatball" insignia) is not covered under this general permission.
link to gallery item "Yes, you can!" Sometimes, it is "free use."
Peter Jaszi, professor at Washington College of Law, American University, put out a helpful guide on what falls into the category of "free use." Hint - NASA created imagery, for one.
link to gallery item Is It Public Domain?  A handy chart. Is It Public Domain? A handy chart.
Professor Peter B. Hirtle has put together a chart that can help you determine if something is in the "public domain" or not.