See how NASA’s Earth-observing satellites circle the planet.
There’s a dance occurring hundreds of miles above Earth right now. It’s the result of choreographed movements made by NASA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites. A total of 16 satellites keep tabs on the pulse of the planet, collecting data on everything from rainfall and clouds to sea surface height and ocean salinity. Four of these satellites travel as a group, each spaced just minutes apart along a route that loops around the poles. The rest fly solo or in tandem, crossing over most of the planet as often as twice every 24 hours. Collectively, their orbits allow for simultaneous observations of Earth’s environment from multiple perspectives. Watch the video to see NASA’s Earth-observing fleet in motion.