A Look Back at a Decade of Fires

  • Released Thursday, October 20th, 2011
  • Updated Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 at 12:18AM
  • ID: 10851

For more than a decade, instruments on Terra and Aqua, two of NASA's flagship Earth-observing satellites, have scanned the surface of our planet for fires four times a day. The instruments, both Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS), have revolutionized what scientists know about fire's role in land cover change, ecosystem processes, and the global carbon cycle by allowing researchers to map the characteristics and global distribution of fires in remarkable detail. The collection of videos below provides perspective on how global fires impact humans and our planet.

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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


This visualization is related to the following missions:


This visualization can be found in the following series:


This visualization originally appeared on the following tapes:
  • NASA.gov Fires Package (ID: 2011110)
    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 4:00AM

Datasets used in this visualization

  • Terra and Aqua Fire Location

    ID: 496
    Collected with MODIS June 2002 through July 2011

    Credit: Fire location data courtesy of MODIS Rapid Response Project (NASA/GSFC and University of Maryland - http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov)

    See all pages that use this dataset
  • Terra and Aqua NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI))

    ID: 633
    Collected with MODIS NASA June 2002 through July 2011
  • Terra and Aqua Ice and Snow (Pixel Reliability (value=2))

    ID: 714
    Analysis Collected with MODIS

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.