'Eye in the Sky' Marks 10 Years

08 May 2012 / All photos: © ANP & NASA /

Built by Northrop Grumman Corporation, NASA’s Aqua satellite recently marked its 10th year on-orbit, delivering data about the Earth’s climate, water cycle and much more. Aqua is designed to help scientists understand the Earth and make more accurate weather and climate predictions. It was originally planned to conduct a 6-year mission, but extensions were subsequently approved when it showed no signs of fatigue

The eruption of Europe's largest and most active volcano, Mt. Etna, on the island of Sicily. The long, brownish-black plume of ash and smoke streams southward from the volcano and out over the Mediterranean Sea from the eruption. Thee famous "boot" of Italy can be seen at the top of the image.

Nasa-Satellite 'Aqua' shows the devastating forest fires on the peninsula Peloponnes, Greece, 26 August 2007. At least four conflagrations and dozens of smaller fires blaze near Olympia in the west, Kalamata in the southwest and Sparta in the southeast. Some more forest fires rage on Greek island Euboea (C, top). The media refers to the fires as Greek's biggest ecological disaster in human history, 27 August 2007. According to official statements, 61 people have lost their lives. However, the media speaks of 63 deaths. At least 3,000 are homeless

Aqua on the Launch Pad on May 4, 2002

At the conclusion of the wet season in late autumn 2012, multiple fires burned across northern Western Australia, primarily in the Kimberly region. On May 2, 2012.

A volcanic plume blows from Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in southern Iceland. The plume?s tan hue indicates a fairly high ash content. Unlike the soft, fluffy material that results from from burned vegetation, volcanic ash consists of tiny jagged particles of rock

The spill that followed the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform off the coast of Louisiana has become the worst oil spill in American history.

On February 24, 2009, cold northerly winds (perhaps katabatic winds from Greenland) encountered moist air over the Greenland Sea, and their meeting generated dozens of parallel rows of clouds, commonly called “cloud streets,” in the skies around the island of Jan Mayen.

Irene formed as a tropical storm east of the Leeward Islands on August 20, 2011. By August 22, the storm had strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane. At 2:00 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time on August 22, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Irene had maximum sustained winds of 80 miles (130 kilometers) per hour, with higher gusts. The storm was located about 150 miles (240 kilometers) west-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Aqua was launched aboard a Delta 7920-10L rocket at 2:55 a.m. PDT on May 4, 2002.

A thick band of dust snaking across the Red Sea between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite, on Friday 13 May, 2005.

This handout picture captured by NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board the Aqua satellite on May 10, 2010 shows Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano continuing to emit a dense plume of ash and steam.

An east-west volcanic plume completely obscures the island of Montserrat, casting a shadow toward the northeast. Two smaller, fainter plumes also extend from the island, one to the north and the other to the south.