Earth NASA Videos

A Look Back at the Montreal Protocol
The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer. This video takes a look back at how scientists, industry leaders, and policy makers came together to regulate CFCs.

american airways
Graphically depicts air traffic over the continental US for ane day.

An Island Made of Ice
This time-lapse video shows the calving of an ice island from Greenland's Petermann Glacier and the drifting of the ice down the fjord and southward through Nares Strait. The images were captured between July 9 and September 13, 2012, by NASA's Terra and Aqua earth-observing satellites. This is the second time in three years that a city-sized hunk of ice has ripped off from the glacier.

Aquarius- One Year Observing the Salty Seas
This video provides a global tour of sea surface salinity using measurements taken by NASA’s Aquarius instrument aboard the Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft, from December 2011 through December 2012. Red represents areas of high salinity, while blue represents areas of low salinity. Aquarius is a focused effort to measure sea surface salinity and will provide the global view of salinity variability needed for climate studies. The mission is a collaboration between NASA and the Space Agency of Argentina (Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales).

Aqua CERES- Tracking Earth's Heat Balance
Is the heat budget of the planet changing? Thermometers on the ground can give us a snapshot of a summer heatwave or winter cold spell, but it takes something like NASA's CERES instruments to give a long term picture of whether the planet is keeping more of its heat than it loses back into space.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 Flight Path
A narrated animation depicting the trajectory of asteroid 2012 DA14 as it travels within the Earth-moon system on Feb. 15, 2013.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 To Whiz Past Earth Safely
The small near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass very close to Earth on Feb. 15, 2013. Asteroid 2012 DA14 will be closest to Earth at about 11:24 a.m. PST (2:24 p.m. EST and 1924 UTC), on Feb. 15, when it will be at a distance of about 27,700 kilometers (17,200 miles) above Earth's surface. NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office can accurately predict the asteroid's path with the observations obtained, and it is therefore known that there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth. Nevertheless, the flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close.

Best of 'Earth As Art' -- Top Five
Counting down the Top Five Earth images, as voted on by the public. Landsat has been collecting data of the Earth's surface since 1972. Some of the images are visually striking, and they have been selected for the 'Earth As Art' collection. These are the best.

Birth of a Space Laser
A new laser, which will globally measure carbon dioxide from space, is due to be launched in 2023 on the ASCENDS mission. The main goal is to measure how much carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere and where it's located. Essentially, the laser will help scientists watch trees 'eat' and 'breathe.'

Dynamic Earth
Watch this NASA animation as it shows a coronal mass ejection from the sun pelts Venus, and then zooms in for a close-up view of Earth's winds and ocean currents.

Earth at Night
This view of Earth at night is a cloud-free view from space as acquired by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership Satellite. A joint program by NASA and NOAA, Suomi NPP captured this nighttime image by the day-night band of the satellite's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite VIIRS. It combines the Earth at night view created by NASA's Earth Observatory with data processed by NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center with the EO Blue Marble: Next Generation.

Earth's Water Cycle
Water is the fundamental ingredient for life on Earth. Looking at our Earth from space, with its vast and deep ocean, it appears as though there is an abundance of water for our use. However, only a small portion of Earth’s water is accessible for our needs.

Earth Science Week 2012- Christy Hansen
A profile of Operation IceBridge Project Manager, Christy Hansen. Just a few months into the job, Christy is already managing a group of scientists and flight crews as they collect vital data over both of Earth's poles.

Earth Science Week 2012- Janel Thomas
A short video profile of Janel Thomas. She was a member of NASA's Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) field campaign in 2010 where she operated the dropsonde instrument on board NASA’s DC-8 aircraft. She was a part of four successful missions into Hurricane Earl during late August and early September, 2010. Her research extends from the GRIP project where she is investigating the rapid intensification of tropical cyclones and the dynamic processes involved. She is currently forecasting for the NASA Hurricane and Severe Sentinel (HS3) Mission.

ESW 2009- Climate Change and the Global Ocean
We know climate change can affect us, but does climate change alter something as vast, deep and mysterious as our oceans?

ESW 2009- Keeping Up With Carbon
The ocean plays the most critical role in regulating Earth's carbon balance, and understanding how the carbon cycle is changing is key to understanding Earth's changing climate.

ESW 2009- Salt of the Earth
The extent to which salinity impacts our global ocean circulation is still relatively unknown, but NASA's new Aquarius mission will help advance that understanding by painting a global picture of our planet's salty waters.

ESW 2009- Shrinking Ice, Rising Seas
Using satellites, lasers, and radar in space, and dedicated researchers on the ground, NASA is studying the Earth's ice and water to better understand how sea level rise might affect us all.

ESW 2009- The Ocean's Green Machines
One tiny marine plant makes life on Earth possible: phytoplankton. These microscopic photosynthetic drifters form the basis of the marine food web, they regulate carbon in the atmosphere, and are responsible for half of the photosynthesis that takes place on this planet.

ESW 2009- Water, Water Everywhere
Water is all around us, and its importance to nearly every natural process on earth cannot be underestimated. It is vital to life, but it is also tightly coupled to climate, helping to carry heat from the tropics to higher latitudes.

Fermi Sees Antimatter-Hurling Thunderstorms
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has detected beams of antimatter launched by thunderstorms. Acting like enormous particle accelerators, the storms can emit gamma-ray flashes, called TGFs, and high-energy electrons and positrons. Scientists now think that most TGFs produce particle beams and antimatter.

Fermi's GBM Finds Radio Bursts from TGFs
Lightning in the clouds is directly linked to events that produce some of the highest-energy light naturally made on Earth: terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs). An instrument aboard NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was recently fine-tuned to better catch TGFs, and this allowed scientists to discover that TGFs emit radio waves, too.

GOES-13 Sees Life and Death of Hurricane Sandy
This animation of satellite imagery shows the life of Hurricane Sandy from its development in the Caribbean Sea on Oct. 21, through its track up the U.S. East coast and landfall. The animation continues through Oct. 31 when Sandy had weakened to a remnant low pressure area. Credit: NASA GOES Project

Hidden Magnetic Portals Around Earth
A NASA-sponsored researcher at the University of Iowa has developed a way for spacecraft to hunt down hidden magnetic portals in the vicinity of Earth. These gateways link the magnetic field of our planet to that of the sun, setting the stage for stormy space weather.

How Does a Lunar Eclipse Work
When the moon passes through the Earth's shadow, it causes the moon to look very unusual for a short period of time. This event is called a lunar eclipse, and it occurs roughly twice a year. Learn more about how lunar eclipses work in this video! Credit goes to TheWusa from for the illustrations that this video’s light scattering animations are based on. (Dec. 10, 2011, eclipse)

Imported Dust in North American Skies
NASA and university scientists have made the first measurement-based estimate of the amount and composition of tiny airborne particles that arrive in the air over North America each year. With a 3D view of the atmosphere now possible from satellites, the scientists distinguished dust from pollution, and calculated that dust is the main ingredient of these foreign imports.

Landsat- 25 Years in the Pacific Northwest Forest -- North South Tour
This visualization shows a sequence of Landsat-based data in the Pacific Northwest. There is one data set for each year representing an aggregate of the approximate peak of the growing season (around August). The data was created using a sophisticated algorithm called LandTrendr. LandTrendr analyzes 'stacks' of Landsat scenes, looking for statistical trends in the data and filtering out noise. The algorithm evaluated data from more than 1,800 Landsat Thematic Mapper images, nearly 1 Terabyte of raw imagery, to define the life histories of each of more than 336 million pixels on the landscape. The resulting trends identify periods of stability and change that are displayed as colors. In these false color images, the colors represent types of land; for example, blue areas are forests; orange/yellow areas are agriculture; and, purple areas are urban. Each 'stack' is representative of a Landsat scene. There are 22 stacks stitched together to cover most of the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Landsat- Making a Difference, One User at a Time
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission will continue and improve upon the 40-year-old Landsat program. This video examines two uses of Landsat data to monitor agriculture. Both wineries and timber companies rely on Landsat data to check whether their vines and trees are getting enough (or too much) water and fertilizer. The resolution and regularity of the satellite data is crucial for them.

Launching a New Tool For Climate Science
NASA's NPP mission will continue collecting critical climate data to help scientist unravel the mysteries of climate change. NPP is carrying five instruments on board. The biggest and most important instrument is The Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite or VIIRS. This video focuses on VIIRS and why it is so important to Earth's science.

Meanwhile, at the Bottom of the Ocean ...
The Ben Franklin mission has been forgotten by time, overshadowed by the concurrent Apollo 11 mission. However, the scientific findings obtained by six aquanauts have provided a foundation for understanding the Gulf Stream and ocean currents. This webshort was produced as an educational tie-in with the Science on a Sphere feature LOOP.

Micro-sub Explores Buried Antarctic Lake
NASA/JPL researcher Alberto Behar joins an international Antarctic expedition to investigate a subglacial lake.

Mt. St. Helens Timelapse
The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington leveled surrounding forest, blasted away more than 1,000 feet of the mountain's summit and claimed 57 human lives. Landsat satellites have tracked the recovery of the surrounding forest. This video shows a timelapse of the recovery, with annual images from 1979-2011.

NPP Prelaunch Webcast
The NPP Pre-Launch Webcast looks at NASA’s upcoming NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) mission. NPP represents a critical first step in building the next-generation of Earth-observing satellites. The mission will test key technologies and instruments. It also will continue to gather information to continue to build on the data record from previous Earth-observing satellites. Tim Dunn and Bruce Reid of NASA's Launch Services Program discuss preparations for the launch and NPP Project Scientist James Gleason talks about what results are expected from the spacecraft's five unique instruments

OIB- High and Low Over the Rift
Operation IceBridge returned twice in 2012 to the Pine Island Glacier, the site of a massive year-old crack that is poised to create a giant iceberg.

OIB- Sea Ice Interlude
Sea ice comes in an array of shapes and sizes and has its own ephemeral beauty. Operation IceBridge studies sea ice at both poles, and also runs across interesting formations en route to other targets.

Previously Undetected Radiation Belt Revealed
Since their discovery over 50 years ago, the Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts have been considered to consist of two distinct zones of trapped, highly energetic charged particles. Observations from NASA’s Van Allen Probes reveal an isolated third ring in the outer radiation belt.

Saved By A Weather Satellite
This is a story about an incredibly challenging rescue that took place on Jan. 2, 2010, 250 miles off the shore of North Carolina. Dennis Clements was saved thanks to a distress signal sent from his emergency beacon (EPIRB) to the GOES satellite shortly before he was dragged under water.

ScienceCasts- The Radiation Belt Storm Probes
Most spacecraft try to avoid the Van Allen Belts, two doughnut-shaped regions around Earth filled with 'killer electrons.' This morning NASA launched two heavily-shielded spacecraft directly into the belts. The Radiation Belt Storm Probes are on a two-year mission to study the Van Allen Belts and to unravel the mystery of their unpredictability.

ScienceCasts- What Exploded Over Russia
Two weeks after an asteroid exploded over Russia's Ural mountains, scientists are making progress understanding the origin and make-up of the unexpected space rock. This week's ScienceCast presents their latest results.

Scientists Answer Top Space Weather Questions Pt 1
NASA scientists answer some common questions about the sun, space weather, and how they affect the Earth. This is part one of a two-part series. It addresses: 1. What is space weather? 2. What are coronal mass ejections? 3. What are solar flares? 4. What are solar energetic particles? 5. What causes flares and CMEs?

Scientists Answer Top Space Weather Questions Pt 2
NASA scientists answer some common questions about the sun, space weather, and how they affect the Earth. This is part two of a two-part series. It addresses: 1. Do all flares and CMEs affect the Earth? 2. What happens when a flare or CME hits the Earth? 3. How quickly can we feel the effects of space weather? 4. Why are there more flares and CMEs happening now?

ScienceCasts- Total Eclipse of the Sun
Visit for more. Scientists and sky watchers are converging on the northeast coast of Australia, near the Great Barrier Reef, for a total eclipse of the sun.

Supercomputing the Climate
Goddard Space Flight Center is the home of a state-of-the-art supercomputing facility called the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) that is capable of running highly complex models to help scientists better understand Earth's climate.

Taking Earth's Temperature
How NASA scientists use computer models to study climate change.

Temperature Data- 1880-2011
Global temperatures have warmed significantly since 1880, the beginning of what scientists call the 'modern record.' At this time, the coverage provided by weather stations allowed for essentially global temperature data. As greenhouse gas emissions from energy production, industry and vehicles have increased, temperatures have climbed, most notably since the late 1970s. In this animation of temperature data from 1880-2011, reds indicate temperatures higher than the average during a baseline period of 1951-1980, while blues indicate lower temperatures than the baseline average.

The Cloud Makers
This segment provides an introduction to aerosols: their varied sources, brief lifetimes and erratic behavior. Glory's APS will help researchers determine the global distribution of aerosol particles. This unique instrument will unravel the microphysical properties of aerosols, and will shed light on the chemical composition of natural and anthropogenic aerosols and clouds.

The Leading Edge - Green Aviation
What is NASA doing to make air transportation quieter, cleaner and more economical? This NASA TV panel discussion and audience Q&A features Fay Collier, project manager for NASA Aeronautics' Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project, and Carl Burleson, acting deputy associate administrator for policy, plans and environment at the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Ocean- Driving Force for Weather and Climate
The Ocean is essential to life on Earth. Most of Earth’s water is stored in the ocean. Although 40 percent of Earth’s population lives within, or near coastal regions, the ocean impacts people everywhere. Without the ocean, our planet would be uninhabitable. This animation helps to convey the importance of Earth’s oceanic processes as one component of Earth’s interrelated systems.

The Radiation Belt Storm Probes
The Radiation Belt Storm Probe mission (RBSP) will explore the Van Allen Radiation Belts in the Earth's magnetosphere. The charge particles in these regions can be hazardous to both spacecraft and astronauts. The mission will explore space weather -- changes in Earth's space environment caused by the sun -- which can affect our technology.

The Smog Bloggers
Has pollen got your sneezing? Wondering what's causing that mysterious afternoon haze? How do you find out what's in the air you are breathing? For the thousands of people who visit the University of Maryland Baltimore County's 'Smog Blog' each day, the answer is just a web click away.Smog Bloggers combine laser measurements with NASA satellite data to paint a daily air quality picture.

The Temperature Puzzle
All of the events of the past decade - all of our memories -- have something in common. They all took place during the hottest decade ever recorded since humans began keeping temperature records about 150 years ago.

This World Is Black and White
A look at how the historic DaisyWorld model illustrates concepts like environmental feedback loops and albedo.

Total Solar Eclipse Australia - Nov. 13, 2012
On Nov. 13, 2012, a narrow corridor in the southern hemisphere experienced a total solar eclipse. The corridor lay mostly over the ocean but also cut across the northern tip of Australia where both professional and amateur astronomers gathered to watch. During a solar eclipse one can see – using appropriate instruments to protect the eyes since you should never look at the sun directly – dim structures around the edges of the sun. These structures are the sun's atmosphere, the corona, which extends beyond the more easily seen surface, known as the photosphere. In modern times, we know that the corona is constantly on the move. Made of electrified gas, called plasma, the solar material dances in response to huge magnetic fields on the sun. Structural changes in these magnetic fields can also give rise to giant explosions of radiation called solar flares, or expulsions of solar material called coronal mass ejections, CMEs – which make the corona a particularly interesting area to study.

TIROS-1- The Forecast Revolution Begins
April 1, 1960: the world's first experimental weather satellite, TIROS-1, was launched. Within three months, TIROS-1 generated over 23,000 images of earth and its atmosphere, providing an unprecedented perspective from above and revolutionizing weather forecasting. This is an historical overview of TIROS-1 and its legacy and, ultimately, the birth of remote earth observation as we know it today.

Tsunami Makes Waves in More Than Just the Ocean
GPS technology helps scientists track tsunamis and improve future warning systems.

Unprecedented Arctic Ozone Loss in 2011
A NASA-led study found that Earth's protective ozone layer above the Arctic thinned to the lowest levels ever observed in early 2011.

Van Allen Probes - The Instruments
Dr. David Sibeck explains the instruments on the twin Van Allen Probes (formerly the Radiation Belt Storm Probes, RBSP). The Van Allen Probes will explore the Van Allen Radiation Belts in the Earth's magnetosphere. The charged particles in these regions can be hazardous to both spacecraft and astronauts. The mission also will allow researchers to understand fundamental radiation and particle acceleration processes throughout the universe.

VLBI- Using Quasars to Measure the Earth
VLBI, or Very Long Baseline Interferometry, is a technique that uses multiple radio telescopes to very precisely measure the Earth's orientation. It was originally invented back in the 1960s to take better pictures of quasars, but scientists soon found out that if you threw the process in reverse, you could actually learn a lot about the Earth! Learn more about VLBI in this video!

Watching Earth Breathe
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas in our atmosphere. View the seasonal cycle of carbon dioxide and the increase of carbon dioxide every year due to human activity.