An early morning sun illuminated the light rain over Nevada, Missouri, on May 14, 2009, spraying rays across the sky. Photographer Tommy Hornbeck captured what some viewers may believe to be virga, rain that evaporates before reaching the surface. However, Jim Foster, a hydrologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, confirmed with Hornbeck that the rain did indeed dampen the ground and the photographer below.
The Earth Science Picture of the Day, a web site led by Foster, has received and posted hundreds of captivating images like this one. The site, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, showcases imagery of people who want to share what they observe; photographs that illustrate the marvels and nuances of Earth and our relationship to it. Sun bounces off rain drops. Bright-colored insects take temporary refuge on plant leaves. Ocean mist changes the look of the air where it hangs suspended. You get the idea.
With support from the Universities Space Research Association and NASA, Foster’s longtime project to educate and engage the public about Earth science has made as many as 3,600 images available online for science enthusiasts.
Want to submit an image to Earth Science Picture of the Day? Click here to learn more. Keep in mind that the images must be your own, and you’ll also need to provide permission for Foster’s team to post them to the site. Good luck!
— Gretchen Cook-Anderson, NASA’s Earth Science News Team