Eyes on Earth - - data from Earth-observing satellites. "Image of the Day" and "Current News" often have
up-to-date satellite views of happenings on Earth:
fires, volcanic eruptions, dramatic ecosystem changes, etc.
"Stories about Planet Earth" also has well crafted material relevant to GSS topics.

AQUA SPACECRAFT TO STUDY EARTH'S WATER CYCLE-- part of Earth Observing System satellites dedicated to studying Earth and expanding our knowledge of global climate change. Equipped with six state-of-the-art instruments, Aqua will collect data on global precipitation, evaporation, the cycling of water, changes in ocean circulation and study how clouds and surface water processes affect our climate. This information will help scientists better understand how global ecosystems are changing, and how they respond to and affect global environmental change. See:

A-Train Fact Sheet. NASA Earth Science Enterprise Series, Fact Sheet [268KB PDF] March 2003. Over the next five years, NASA's ESE plans to launch four satellite missions that will fly in formation with each other and with the Aqua satellite, which has been in orbit since May 2002. Each individual mission has its own objectives and will improve our understanding of aspects of the Earth's climate. The real advantage of formation flying, however is that the data from the various satellites are synergistic. 

CRYSTAL-FACE mission -- a measurement campaign designed to investigate tropical cirrus cloud physical properties and formation processes. Understanding the production of upper tropospheric cirrus clouds is essential for the successful modeling of the Earth's climate.

GRACE Brochure: The Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment. NASA Earth Science Enterprise Series, Fact Sheet: FS-2002-1-029-GSFC [292KB PDF] December 2003. To learn more about the mysteries of gravity, twin satellites named GRACE-short for the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment-were launched to make detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field. This experiment could lead to discoveries about gravity and Earth's natural systems, which could have far-reaching benefits to society and the world's population.

March 2001 Meteor 3M/SAGE III LAUNCH. The SAGE III mission on the Russian Meteor 3M-1 spacecraft seeks to enhance our understanding of natural and human-derived atmospheric processes by providing high latitude long-term measurements of the vertical structure of aerosols, ozone, water vapor, and other important trace gases in the upper troposphere and stratosphere. For more information, see

March 2001 JASON-1 LAUNCH. Jason is a joint U.S.-France (Centre National d' Etudes Spatiales) oceanography mission designed to monitor global ocean circulation, discover the tie between the oceans and atmosphere, improve global climate predictions, and monitor events such as El Nio and La Nia and ocean eddies. For more information, see:

LANDSAT also,, and the Earth as Art web site at:

National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) Spacecraft. -- -- Provide NASA with continuation of global change observations after Earth Observing System (EOS) TERRA and Aqua. Measure atmospheric and sea surface temperatures, humidity sounding, land and ocean biological productivity, and cloud and aerosol properties.

Satellites for Solar-Terrestrial observations

S'COOL (Students' Cloud Observations On-Line) --
Students make accurate cloud observations for ground truthing for the CERES satellite (Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System)--a high priority scientific satellite instrument which is orbiting the Earth as part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise. CERES helps us to study the ways in which clouds may affect the Earth's climate.

SORCE Fact Sheet. NASA Earth Science Enterprise Series, Fact Sheet [164KB PDF] December 2002. To further understand the influence of the Sun on the Earth system, NASA launched the SORCE satellite in January 2003. SORCE is a key component of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) program, and will address long-term climate change, natural variability and enhanced climate prediction, and atmospheric ozone and UV-B radiation. This research is critical to studies of the Sun, its affect on our Earth, and its influence on humankind.

SeaWiFS -- July 31, 2002 --The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS), aboard the OrbView-2 satellite, has given researchers an unprecedented view of the biological engine that drives life on Earth. Levels of phytoplankton, single celled plant organisms that form the base of the oceanic food chain, can explode in events called bloom. Other organisms can bloom as well, such as algae.

Studying Earth's Environment from Space, from Old Dominion University

TOPEX/Poseidon mission

Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS)

Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite