Earth Observing Fleet
Like orbiting sentinels, NASA’s Earth-observing satellites vigilantly monitor our planet’s ever-changing pulse from their unique vantage points in orbit. This animation shows the orbits of all of the current satellite missions. The flight paths are based on actual orbital elements. These missions—many joint with other nations and/or agencies—are able to collect global measurements of rainfall, solar irradiance, clouds, sea surface height, ocean salinity, and other aspects of the environment. Together, these measurements help scientists better diagnose the “health” of the Earth system.
This animation will be regularly updated to show the orbits of the current earth observing fleet.
This most recent version, published in March 2017, includes the CYGNSS constellation and DSCOVR at L1. Visit the original page here.
Previous versions from recent years include:
entry 4274 a February 2015 version including SMAP
entry 3996 a spring 2014 version including GPM
entry 4070 a May 2013 version which added Landsat-8
entry 3892 a Dec 2011 version which added Suomi NPP and Aquarius
entry 3725 a version from June 2010
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
MissionsThis visualization is related to the following missions:
- Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS)
- Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR)
- Earth Observing-1
- Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)
- ISS-RapidScat (RapidScat)
- LDCM: Landsat Data Continuity Mission
- Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2)
- Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP)
- Suomi NPP
Datasets used in this visualization
CelesTrak Spacecraft Orbit EphemerisID: 454Ephemeris
Terra and Aqua BMNG (Blue Marble: Next Generation)ID: 508Collected with MODIS
Credit: The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).
This dataset can be found at: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/BlueMarble/See all pages that use this dataset
GEOS-5 Cubed-Sphere (GEOS-5 Atmospheric Model on the Cubed-Sphere)ID: 663Model NASA GMAO
The model is the GEOS-5 atmospheric model on the cubed-sphere, run at 14-km global resolution for 30-days. GEOS-5 is described here http://gmao.gsfc.nasa.gov/systems/geos5/ and the cubed-sphere work is described here http://sivo.gsfc.nasa.gov/cubedsphere_overview.html.See all pages that use this dataset
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.