Earth: March 2013

One of the Expedition 34 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station photographed this image featuring the Southern High Plains of northwestern Texas, directly south of the city of Amarillo (off the image to the north).

The Colorado Plateau spans northern Arizona, southern Utah, northwestern New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado. This physiographic province is well known for its striking landscapes and broad vistas--an impression that is enhanced by the view from the orbital perspective of the International Space Station. This astronaut photograph highlights part of the Utah-Arizona border region of the Plateau, and includes several prominent landforms.

Part of the Amazon Basin in northern Brazil is pictured in this image from the Japanese ALOS satellite. Along the left side of the image and running along the bottom, the Nhamunda River creates the border between the Brazilian states of Para (north) and Amazonas (south).

Each spring and summer, as the air warms up and the sunlight beats down on the Greenland ice sheet, sapphire-colored ponds spring up like swimming pools. As snow and ice melt atop the glaciers, the water flows in channels and streams and collects in depressions on the surface that are sometimes visible from space. These melt ponds and lakes sometimes disappear quickly - a phenomenon that scientists have observed firsthand in recent years.

NASA's Operation IceBridge scientists have begun another season of research activity over Arctic ice sheets and sea ice with the first of a series of science flights from Greenland completed on Wednesday.

An international research team announces the first scientific results from one of the most inaccessible places on Earth: the bottom of the Mariana Trench located nearly 11 kilometers below sea level in the western Pacific, which makes it the deepest site on Earth.

Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey have been working with a host of international collaborators to present the most detailed map yet of Antarctica's landmass. Bedmap2 reveals a landscape of mountain ranges and plains cut by gorges and valleys much deeper than previously seen. In addition, the map allows scientists to analyse, in much greater detail, the bed below the Antarctic ice sheet.

With data from 73 ice and sediment core monitoring sites around the world, scientists have reconstructed Earth's temperature history back to the end of the last Ice Age.

Looking out at Earth's surface from the International Space Station (ISS), astronauts and cosmonauts frequently observe sunglint highlighting both ocean and inland water surfaces.