Aug. 1, 2014, image of California from NASA's Terra Earth Observing System satellite. (NASA Worldview image)
“Aug. 1, 2014, image of California from NASA’s Terra Earth Observing System satellite (NASA Worldview image).

Update, Sunday 4 p.m.: Here are links to NASA satellite images from the weekend:

Saturday, Aug. 2: NASA Aqua Earth Observing System image, via Worldview.

Sunday, Aug. 3: NASA Terra Earth Observing System image, via Worldview.

Original post: NASA, that space agency we all pay for, has a multitude of satellites up there in orbit on all sorts of missions, including probes checking out the sun, the moon, our sister planets, the borders of the solar system, scanning for faraway worlds circling distant stars, and telescopically looking deep into the universe and our cosmic past. And many NASA satellites are trained right here on home ground, the Earth.

Two of the agency’s Earth-observing satellites, Terra and Aqua, capture images of our planet’s entire surface every day or so. The pictures are unfailingly stunning — it turns out you can have a love affair with an entire planet (at least when it’s seen at a distance).

During fire season in California, it’s always intriguing to check on what Aqua and Terra see as they pass overhead. And today’s view (from Terra) features several major blazes, including the Whites Fire and Day Fire (west and east of Mount Shasta, respectively), the El Portal Fire just west of Yosemite) and the French Fire in the southern Sierra.


Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke (Twitter: @danbrekke) has worked in media ever since Nixon's first term, when newspapers were still using hot type. He had moved on to online news by the time Bill Clinton met Monica Lewinsky. He's been at KQED since 2007, is an enthusiastic practitioner of radio and online journalism and will talk to you about absolutely anything. Reach Dan Brekke at

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