NASA's Earth Observing-1 satellite, as depicted in this artist's impression, will be used to help search for the missing Malaysian Airlines passenger jet.
NASA has opened voting for itsTournamentEarth 2014 photo competition
, which takes Earth images captured by satellite and makes them go head to head. Users (that's you!) vote on the best shots, which then go on to the final round. You can create your interactive brackethere
. Note: Voting ends Friday, March 14. Our favorite to take the whole thing: An eruption at Kliuchevskoi, a stratovolcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia (above) was photographed by the Expedition 38 crew aboard the International Space Station.PHOTOS: 2013 Top 20 Earth Images Contest
NASA/ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center
Tristan da Cunha, an island in the southern Atlantic Ocean, is more than 2,300 miles (3,700 kilometers) from the coastline of Antarctica. A volcano sits at the island's center. "The last known eruption of Tristan da Cunha took place in 1961–1962," writes William L. Stefanov for NASA, "and forced the evacuation of the only settlement on the island, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, on the northern coastline (obscured by clouds in this image). The town is considered to be the most remote permanent settlement on Earth, with its nearest neighbor located 2,173 kilometers (1,347 miles) to the northeast on the island of St. Helena."PHOTOS: Changing Face of Earth in 2013
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.
Alaska is the cloudiest region of the United States, reports the space agency, but last summer, NASA's Terra satellite caught a rare, nearly cloud-free view.PHOTOS: The Stinkiest Places on Earth
NASA Earth Observatory images by Holli Riebeek, using Landsat 8 data from the USGS Earth Explorer
In early November of 2013, a large iceberg calved off the front of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier, which was captured by the Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite.PHOTOS: A View of the Unnatural World From Space
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response
In late January 2013, snow blanketed Great Britain from London in the south to Edinburgh, Scotland, in the north. The image was captured by the The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. But you knew that.PHOTOS: Green Earth Beauty
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC
The Canary Islands appear to have tails made by smooth and choppy water, and the reflection of sunlight. The image was captured by the same satellite that photographed Great Britain under snow. All of these images are in the current Round of 16. Got a favorite?You can't win if you don't play
.PHOTOS: Pyramids Hidden In Satellite Images?
The world's premier space agency has joined the search for a Malaysian commercial jetliner that vanished into thin air over the weekend.
On Monday (March 10), NASA began examining ways it can contribute to the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared shortly after takeoff on Friday (March 7), agency officials said.
"Activities under way include mining data archives of satellite data acquired earlier and using space-based assets, such as the Earth-Observing-1(EO-1) satellite and the ISERV camera on the International Space Station, to acquire new images of possible crash sites," NASA spokesman Allard Beutel told Space.com via email. "The resolution of images from these instruments could be used to identify objects of about 98 feet (30 meters) or larger."
In addition, Beutel added, NASA will be sending relevant data to the U.S. Geological Survey's Earth Resources Observations and Science Hazard Data Distribution System, which facilitates the sharing of information whenever the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters is activated.
The Charter — which aims to mitigate the effects of natural and man-made disasters by streamlining the delivery of space-acquired data — was activated on Tuesday (March 11) by China, according to CNET.
Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, on Friday afternoon U.S. Eastern time, headed for Beijing. The plane dropped off air traffic controllers' radar less than an hour later; the whereabouts of the Boeing 777 jet, which was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, remain unknown.
On Wednesday (March 12), however, Chinese officials announced that one of the nation's satellites had spotted a possible crash site for Flight 370. The spacecraft captured images of three large, floating objects in the waters northeast of Kuala Lumpur, along the plane's presumed flight path, CNN reported.
A follow-up investigation by recovery boats and aircraft could confirm if the objects are indeed pieces of the Malaysian Airlines jet, experts say.
The disappearance of Flight 370 calls to mind Air France Flight 447, which vanished over the Atlantic Ocean in June 2009, shortly after taking off from Rio de Janeiro en route to Paris. It took five days to locate the wreckage of Flight 447 and nearly two years to find and recover the jet's "black boxes" from the ocean floor.
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