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 is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area's transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED's comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

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