About this dataset
Light energy travels in waves, but not all the waves are the same. The kind of light our eyes can see is only a tiny part of the energy that exists in the universe. Other kinds of energy are invisible, like the energy that makes our hands feel warm when we hold them over a fire, or the energy that cooks our food in the microwave. When Earth absorbs sunlight, it heats up. The heat, or "outgoing longwave radiation," radiates back into space. Satellites measure this radiation as it leaves the top of Earth's atmosphere. The hotter a place is, the more energy it radiates.
What do the colors mean?
The colors in these maps show the amount of outgoing longwave radiation leaving Earth's atmosphere (in Watts per square meter) for the given time period(s). Bright yellow and orange indicate greater heat emission, purple and blue indicate intermediate emissions, and white shows little or no heat emission.
Imagery produced by the NASA Earth Observations team based on FLASHFlux data. FLASHFlux data are produced using CERES observations convolved with MODIS measurements from both the Terra and Aqua satellite. Data provided by the FLASHFlux team, NASA Langley Research Center.
Federal Geographic Data Committee Geospatial Metadata
View the FGDC Metatdata for Outgoing Longwave Radiation (1 day)