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:

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Collections of Earth Imagery

  • Earth As Art
    External Resource
    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.
  • 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.
  • Blue Marble
    External Resource
    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.
  • Astronaut Photography of the Earth
    External Resource
    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.
  • Planetary Photojournal
    External Resource
    A photo album of the Earth, from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
  • Visible Earth
    External Resource
    A collection of NASA images and animations of our home planet. Contains some of the other collections listed on this page.
  • NASA Images
    External Resource
    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.
  • Images of the Earth From Planetary Spacecraft
    External Resource
    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.
  • NASA Earth Observations
    External Resource
    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.
  • USGS Earth Resources Observations and Science (EROS) Center
    External Resource
    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.
  • Earth Observatory - Image of the Day
    External Resource
    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.
  • Earth Science Picture of the Day
    External Resource
    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.
  • Our Changing Planet: The View From Space
    External Resource
    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.
  • Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD)
    External Resource
    Yearly mosaics of the coterminous United States and Alaska, from 2005 onwards, composited from Landsat data.

Animations and Visualizations


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