28 January 2011

Archival Gold: NASA Photo Libraries

Posted by Jessica Ball

I was planning on another photo post today anyway, but given that it’s the 25th anniversary of the loss of the Challenger, it seemed appropriate to make this one NASA-themed.┬áNASA is a big organization, and they don’t just have one central photo archive – they have lots. Here’s a sampling of a few of them:

NASA Earth Observatory: This is one you’ll all be familiar with – they feature satellite images, often of volcanoes, and have some really beautiful offerings in their “Image of the Day” section.

Dust plumes off the coast of Morocco, December 29, 2010. NASA Earth Observatory

NASA JPL ASTER Volcano Archive: This is more of a data repository, but it can be really useful if you need ASTER (multispectral satellite) images of a particular volcano, to use (for example) in geologic and hazard mapping. You can get low and high resolution images, and also load them directly into GoogleEarth.

ASTER image of Mount Etna, Italy, acquired Nov. 21, 2008. NASA JPL ASTER Volcano Archive

NASA Images: Pretty much the most comprehensive collection of NASA-related imagery you could want, including things from the very beginning of the space era.


First view of the Earth from the Moon. Taken Aug. 23, 1966 by United States Lunar Orbiter I. NASA Images

Stereo pair of volcanoes in Patagonia, Argentina. Combined SRTM and Landsat images, NASA Images.

Obviously, NASA isn’t just about space science, and there a lot of great resources available on these pages (and others on the NASA websites).