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Topic: NASA’s Terra Satellite

NASA’s Terra, Aqua Satellites Detect Signs of Volcanic Unrest Years Before Eruptions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Although there are telltale signs that a volcano is likely to erupt in the near future – an uptick in seismic activity, changes in gas emissions, and sudden ground deformation, for example – accurately predicting such eruptions is notoriously hard.

This is, in part, because no two volcanoes behave in exactly the same way and because few of the world’s 1,500 or so active volcanoes have monitoring systems in place. Under the best of circumstances, scientists can accurately forecast an eruption of a monitored volcano several days before it happens. But what if we knew months or even years in advance?

Eruption at Mount Redoubt in Alaska in 2009. (Game McGimsey, USGS)

Eruption at Mount Redoubt in Alaska in 2009. (Game McGimsey, USGS)

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NASA observes California’s Wildfires from Space, Air

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – As California experiences one of the worst wildfire seasons on record, NASA is leveraging its resources to help. Scientists supporting the agency’s Applied Sciences Disaster Program in the Earth Sciences Division are generating maps and other data products that track active fires and their smoke plumes while also identifying areas that may be susceptible to future risks.

“When disasters like this occur, we are able to swiftly respond to requests from our partners who need images and mapping data,” said David Green, manager of the Disasters Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Captured by the ASTER instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite, this false-color map shows the burn area of the River and Carmel fires in Monterey County, California. Vegetation (including crops) is shown in red; the burn area (dark blue/gray) is in the center of the image. (NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems)

Captured by the ASTER instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite, this false-color map shows the burn area of the River and Carmel fires in Monterey County, California. Vegetation (including crops) is shown in red; the burn area (dark blue/gray) is in the center of the image. (NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems)

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NASA’s Terra satellite’s MISR instrument observes Clouds that become Hurricane Laura

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On August 25th, 2020 several days before Hurricane Laura made landfall as a destructive Category 4 storm in Louisiana, NASA’s Terra satellite flew over Laura in the Gulf of Mexico.

Using its Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument, the satellite collected data on wind speeds and cloud-top heights as the storm intensified and moved northwest towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team worked closely with representatives from the Esri 3D team to produce the first-ever interactive 3D visualization of MISR cloud-top height data and publish it to the NASA Disasters Mapping Portal.

A still image of a 3D visualization of the cloud tops of what would become Hurricane Laura, as seen on Aug. 25, 2020, by the MISR instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite. (NASA Disasters Program, Esri)

A still image of a 3D visualization of the cloud tops of what would become Hurricane Laura, as seen on Aug. 25, 2020, by the MISR instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite. (NASA Disasters Program, Esri)

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NASA’s Terra satellite images shows Tropical Storm Laura over Hispaniola

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – Very powerful storms with heavy rainmaking capability reach high into the atmosphere and those have very cold cloud top temperatures. Infrared imagery from NASA’s Terra satellite measures those temperatures and found those kind of powerful storms in Tropical Storm Laura drenching Hispaniola.

Warnings and Watches on Sunday, August 23rd, 2020: NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued many warnings and watches on Sunday, August 23rd, 2020.

On Aug. 22 at 10:00pm CT (Aug. 23 at 0300 UTC) the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite revealed the most powerful thunderstorms (yellow) surrounded Laura’s center where cloud top temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). Strong storms with cloud top temperatures as cold as minus 70 degrees (red) Fahrenheit (minus 56.6. degrees Celsius) surrounded those areas and blanketed Hispaniola and were dropping large amounts of rain. (NASA/NRL)

On Aug. 22 at 10:00pm CT (Aug. 23 at 0300 UTC) the MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite revealed the most powerful thunderstorms (yellow) surrounded Laura’s center where cloud top temperatures were as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius). Strong storms with cloud top temperatures as cold as minus 70 degrees (red) Fahrenheit (minus 56.6. degrees Celsius) surrounded those areas and blanketed Hispaniola and were dropping large amounts of rain. (NASA/NRL)

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NASA uses Satellites to Help Forecast Wildlife Migration in Yellowstone National Park

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – The research project looked specifically at how long the growing season lasts in Yellowstone  National Park, from snowmelt in spring to first snowfall in autumn, and the vegetation that covers the land in between.

The satellite data revealed that the season for vegetation growth has been getting longer, likely a result of climate change decreasing the severity of winters and warming average temperatures overall.

Studying national parks is helpful for this type of climate research, because human land use is restricted in these spaces.

A study using data from two NASA Earth science satellites reveals that the season for vegetation growth has been getting longer in Yellowstone National Park. Likely a result of climate change decreasing the severity of winters and warming average temperatures overall, this effect on the productivity of grasslands has contributed to the growing number of bison in the park. (Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory)

A study using data from two NASA Earth science satellites reveals that the season for vegetation growth has been getting longer in Yellowstone National Park. Likely a result of climate change decreasing the severity of winters and warming average temperatures overall, this effect on the productivity of grasslands has contributed to the growing number of bison in the park. (Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory)

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NASA’s Terra satellite images shows fires on one third of Kangaroo Island

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA’s Terra satellite provided before and after imagery that showed the extent of the fires that have been ravaging Australia’s Kangaroo Island. Kangaroo Island lies off the mainland of South Australia, southwest of Adelaide.

About a third of the island is made up of protected nature reserves which are home to native wildlife which includes sea lions, koalas and diverse and endangered bird species, including glossy black-cockatoos which have been brought back from the brink of extinction over the last two decades.

This image taken by the Terra satellite and enhanced by using correction reflectance bands on the MODIS (Moderation Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) highlight in brighter colors the areas on Kangaroo Island that have been burned by the bushfires in late December 2019 and early January 2020. (NASA Worldview)

This image taken by the Terra satellite and enhanced by using correction reflectance bands on the MODIS (Moderation Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) highlight in brighter colors the areas on Kangaroo Island that have been burned by the bushfires in late December 2019 and early January 2020. (NASA Worldview)

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NASA’s Terra Satellite takes images of Meteor “Fireball” over Bering Sea

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On December 18th, 2018, a large “fireball” – the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area – exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea.

The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 kilotons of energy, or more than 10 times the energy of the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima during World War II.

Two NASA instruments aboard the Terra satellite captured images of the remnants of the large meteor.

NASA's MODIS instrument, aboard the Terra satellite, captured this true-color image showing the remnants of a meteor's passage, seen as a dark shadow cast on thick, white clouds on Dec. 18, 2018. (NASA GSFC)

NASA’s MODIS instrument, aboard the Terra satellite, captured this true-color image showing the remnants of a meteor’s passage, seen as a dark shadow cast on thick, white clouds on Dec. 18, 2018. (NASA GSFC)

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NASA Finds Possible Second Impact Crater Under Greenland Ice

 

Written By Maria-José Viñas
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – This follows the finding, announced in November 2018, of a 19-mile-wide crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier – the first meteorite impact crater ever discovered under Earth’s ice sheets. Though the newly found impact sites in northwest Greenland are only 114 miles apart, at present they do not appear to have formed at the same time.

If the second crater, which has a width of over 22 miles, is ultimately confirmed as the result of a meteorite impact, it will be the 22nd largest impact crater found on Earth.

Just 114 miles from the newly-found Hiawatha impact crater under the ice of northwest Greenland, lies a possible second impact crater. The 22-mile wide feature would be the second crater found under an ice sheet, and if confirmed, would be the 22nd-largest crater on Earth. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/ Jefferson Beck)

Just 114 miles from the newly-found Hiawatha impact crater under the ice of northwest Greenland, lies a possible second impact crater. The 22-mile wide feature would be the second crater found under an ice sheet, and if confirmed, would be the 22nd-largest crater on Earth. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/ Jefferson Beck)

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NASA discovers large Meteorite Crater underneath the Ice in Greenland

 

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – An international team of researchers, including a NASA glaciologist, has discovered a large meteorite impact crater hiding beneath more than a half-mile of ice in northwest Greenland. The crater — the first of any size found under the Greenland ice sheet — is one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth, measuring roughly 1,000 feet deep and more than 19 miles in diameter, an area slightly larger than that inside Washington’s Capital Beltway.

The group, led by researchers from the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark worked for the past three years to verify their discovery, which they initially made in 2015 using NASA data. Their finding is published in the November 14th issue of the journal Science Advances.

Radar data from an intensive aerial survey of the Hiawatha crater in May 2016 is shown here in aqua-colored curtains. A blue arrow points to the central peak of the crater. (NASA/Cindy Starr)

Radar data from an intensive aerial survey of the Hiawatha crater in May 2016 is shown here in aqua-colored curtains. A blue arrow points to the central peak of the crater. (NASA/Cindy Starr)

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NASA uses several Instruments to watch Hurricane Lane

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Instruments on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites were watching as Hurricane Lane — a category 2 storm as of Friday, August 24th — made its way toward Hawaii.

NASA’s Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) captured images of Lane on just before noon local time on August 24th. MISR, flying onboard NASA’s Terra satellite, carries nine cameras that observe Earth at different angles. It takes approximately seven minutes for all the cameras to observe the same location, and the motion of the clouds during that time is used to compute the wind speed at the cloudtops.

Image of Hurricane Lane. (NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL-Caltech)

Image of Hurricane Lane. (NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL-Caltech)

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