UPDATE 1/16/2011 – Gallery updated to include almost all of the images posted by NASA through the end of 2011.
The MODIS Satellite Gallery collection from the MODIS Rapid Response Project at NASA/GSFC contains about 3,300 satellite images obtained from NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites overlaid onto Google Earth. These satellites capture natural color imagery in amazing detail from all over the Earth. NASA posts some of the most interesting imagery collected from these satellites several times per week at the MODIS Gallery. NASA also has a MODIS Image of the Day web page, and a RSS Feed if you want to keep up on the daily postings. This Google Earth collection contains links to almost all of the MODIS Gallery images posted by NASA from 2003 to 2011.
These satellite images typically show major events occurring in the world that are visible from space. Dust storms, hurricanes, tropical storms, volcanic eruptions, natural phenomenon, and wildfires are just some of the events captured by the satellites.
One of the shortcomings of the NASA gallery is it lacks a nice user-friendly index for Google Earth. So that’s what I have created for this post. Simply download the KML file from beneath the screenshot and you will get an index of all (well…almost all) the MODIS Gallery images from 2003 through 2011. Each image is represented by a green dot and description of the image, which includes the year. Click on the placemark, then click on the blue hyperlink in the pop-up balloon to load the image into Google Earth. Most of the images are around 1 to 5 megabytes, so it might take them a minute or two to load. If you get a Red X, that probably means the image was too large for your computer to download.
About 10% of the images were not indexed by NASA for Google Earth for various reasons (size of image, wrong projection, etc.), which unfortunately includes all imagery near the north and south poles. Also, the quality of the image as you see it in Google Earth might vary depending on how much video memory you have available.
I will try to update the index every year or so.