Scientific Visualization Studio

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Scientific Visualization Studio collection contains visualizations produced from satellite data or from computer simulations of geophysical phenomena using such satellite data. The visualizations show physical phenomena that occur on Earth, other planets, and the sun. The visualizations focus on natural events such as hurricanes, fires, and floods, virtual zooms and fly-bys of cities and interesting geographic areas of Earth and Mars, and daily, seasonal, annual, or decadal variations of snow, sea ice, ozone, sea surface temperature, aerosols, land cover, and ocean productivity.

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  • Scientific Visualization Studio
Earth At Night (WMS)
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

This image of Earths city lights was created with data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS). Originally designed to view clouds by moonlight, the OLS is also used to map the locations of permanent lights on the Earths surface. The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated. (Compare western Europe with China and India.) Cities tend to grow along coastlines and transportation networks. Even without the underlying map, the outlines of many continents would still be visible. The United States interstate highway system appears as a lattice connecting the brighter dots of city centers. In Russia, the Trans-Siberian railroad is a thin line stretching from Moscow through the center of Asia to Vladivostok. The Nile River, from the Aswan Dam to the Mediterranean Sea, is another bright thread through an otherwise dark region. Even more than 100 years after the invention of the electric light, some regions remain thinly populated and unlit. Antarctica is entirely dark. The interior jungles of Africa and South America are mostly dark, but lights are beginning to appear there. Deserts in Africa, Arabia, Australia, Mongolia, and the United States are poorly lit as well (except along the coast), along with the boreal forests of Canada and Russia, and the great mountains of the Himalaya.

Provider:
NASA
UCAR
UCAR Staff
Provider Set:
NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio
Scientific Visualization Studio
Author:
Christopher Elvidge
Craig Mayhew
Marc Imhoff
Robert Simmon
Date Added:
02/16/2004
Giant Iceberg in McMurdo Sound (WMS)
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

Iceberg B-15A, in Antarctica's McMurdo Sound, is as large as Long Island, NY (3,000 square kilometers or 1,200 square miles) and is the largest fragment of a much larger iceberg that broke away from the Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000. Iceberg B-15A has trapped sea ice in McMurdo Sound, and the ice build-up presents significant problems for Antarctic penguins, which must now swim great distances to reach open waters and food. These images were taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASAs Aqua and Terra satellites between 2004-11-09 and 2005-01-17.

Subject:
Geoscience
Provider:
NASA
NSDL Staff
UCAR
UCAR Staff
Provider Set:
NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio
Science of Winter
Scientific Visualization Studio
Author:
Greg Shirah
Jacques Descloitres
Jeff DeLaBeaujardiere
Stuart Snodgrass
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Great Zoom out of Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Kresge Auditorium
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

Using data from different spacecraft and some powerful computer technology, visualizers at the Goddard Space Flight Center present you with a collection of American cities in a way you have never seen them before. Starting with our camera high above the Earth, we rush in towards the surface at what would be an impossible speed for any known vehicle. Passing though layers of atmosphere, the colors of our destinations shimmer with their own unique characteristics, and suddenly we find ourselves floating in virtual space just above the ground.

Provider:
NASA
UCAR
UCAR Staff
Provider Set:
NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio
Scientific Visualization Studio
Author:
Darrel Williams
Greg Shirah
Horace Mitchell
John McGinnis
Marte Newcombe
Michael Mangos
Date Added:
06/15/2001
Increasing Air Traffic Safety, Using Real Time Weather in the Cockpit
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

This video describes advances in remote sensing and information technology that can be used to provide real time weather to airline pilots during flight.

Subject:
Technology
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Simulation
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NASA
UCAR
UCAR Staff
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio
Scientific Visualization Studio
Author:
Campbell, William
Maher, Steve
ONeil, Pamela
Pamela ONeil
Shahram Shiri
Shiri, Shahram
Steve Maher
William Campbell
Date Added:
10/16/1996
Lake Chad Evaporation 1963 to 1997
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

Lake Chad Disappearing between 1963 and 1997: Located on the edge of the Sahara and bordering four countries--Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger--the immense area of this land locked lake has nearly disappeared in recent years. Persistent drought has caused the lake to drop from its former sixth place position in the list of worlds largest lakes; it is now one tenth its former size. The basin of the lake is not naturally deep, so the surface area of the lake tended to spread out, keeping the total depth to little more 23 feet (7 meters). In recent years, rainfall patterns have begun to change, and tributaries to Lake Chad have not been refilling the basin as rapidly as they used to. The lush, productive flora and fauna fed by the wetlands of the shallow lake have suffered as a result. This has led to significant changes for various communities of people that live in the vicinity of the Lake. While for some the now exposed lake bed has enabled new land to be cultivated, much of the available fresh water that might have been used for irrigation is no longer dependable. As rainfall rates appear to be declining year after year, people living nearby develop even greater dependence on the lake, draining it even faster.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NASA
UCAR
UCAR Staff
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Provider Set:
NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio
Scientific Visualization Studio
DLESE Community Collection
Author:
Joycelyn Thomson
Michael Coe
Date Added:
02/27/2001
Looking Down at the Earth from Space with SeaWiFS False Color Oceans
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

Looking down at the Earth from Space. The SeaWiFS Instrument allows us to see the Oceans in a different light.

Subject:
Geoscience
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Simulation
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NASA
UCAR
UCAR Staff
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio
Scientific Visualization Studio
Author:
Chris Justice
Claire Parkinson
Darrel Williams
Dorothy Hall
Gene Feldman
Marte Newcombe
Stuart Snodgrass
Date Added:
08/20/2002
Mapping the Amazon: The Mouth of the Amazon
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

The Amazon rain forest is the largest tropical forest in the world. It stretches across South America from nearly ocean to ocean. No seasonal view of this territory existed until a NASA-university collaboration began mapping the Amazon - from space. Scientists listed worked as a team on Mosaicking Software and Mosaic Production.

Subject:
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NASA
UCAR
UCAR Staff
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio
Scientific Visualization Studio
Author:
Bruce Chapman
Chapman, Bruce
Craig Miller
Curkendall, David
David Curkendall
Freeman, Tony
Herb Siegel
Kathya Zamora
Miller, Craig
Paul Siqueira
Siegel, Herb
Siqueira, Paul
Snodgrass, Stuart
Stuart Snodgrass
Tony Freeman
Zamora, Kathya
Date Added:
03/14/2002
NDVI for the United States as of May, 2002
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

New satellite-derived images of vegetation confirm extremely dry conditions exist that are ripe for fires in the western United States, according to a data collaboration between NASA and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.

Subject:
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NASA
UCAR
UCAR Staff
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio
Scientific Visualization Studio
Author:
Joycelyn Thomson
Mahoney, Robert
Robert Mahoney
Thomson, Joycelyn
Date Added:
07/03/2002
Tropical Cyclone ALMA, May 29, 2002
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

This is Hurricane Alma on May 29, 2002 as seen by TRMM and GOES. The animation zooms down to Hurricane Alma and then scans across the cloud tops to reveal the underlying rain structure. There are 3 isosurfaces defined (Yellow = 0.5 inches-hour, Green = 1.0 inches-hour, and Red = 2.0 inches-hour)

Subject:
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NASA
UCAR
UCAR Staff
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio
Scientific Visualization Studio
Author:
Halverson, Jeff
Jeff Halverson
Lori Perkins
Perkins, Lori
Date Added:
05/31/2002
Tropical Storm Cristobal
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

This animation shows Tropical Storm Cristobal on August 7, 2002 . Cristobal was located east of St. Augustine, Florida. The storm has had a maximum sustained wind speed of 45 MPH. Cristobal is expected to move east-northeast within the next 24 hours.

Subject:
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NASA
UCAR
UCAR Staff
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio
Scientific Visualization Studio
Author:
Halverson, Jeff
Jeff Halverson
Lori Perkins
Perkins, Lori
Date Added:
08/07/2002