Platforms: TERRA


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NASA launched the Earth Observing System's flagship satellite "Terra", named for Earth, on December 18, 1999. Terra has been collecting data about Earth's changing climate. Terra carries five state-of-the-art sensors that have been studying the interactions among the Earth's atmosphere, lands, oceans, and radiant energy. Each sensor has unique design features that will enable scientists to meet a wide range of science objectives.


The five Terra onboard sensors are:

  • ASTER, or Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer
  • CERES, or Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System
  • MISR, or Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer
  • MODIS, or Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
  • MOPITT, or Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere


This visible image of Tropical Depression Beryl was captured using the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite on May 28, 2012 at 12:05 p.m. EDT when it was centered over northern Florida. Credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team
Snow cover map for March 5, 2012. (Image credit: NASA/MODIS)


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