Death Valley Heats Up
This temperature map shows the land surface temperatures around Death Valley in California's Mojave Desert on Aug. 16, 2020. The observation was made possible by NASA's Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS), which measured a peak land surface temperature of 122.52 degrees Fahrenheit (50.29 degrees Celsius) near Furnace Creek.
ECOSTRESS collected this data when the space station passed over California at about 8:50 a.m. PDT (11:50 a.m. EDT) during a record-breaking heat wave that gripped the region. With a resolution of about 77 by 77 yards (70 by 70 meters), the image enables the study of surface-temperature conditions down to the size of a football field. The hottest temperatures are shown in dark red, with the coolest temperatures in blue.
ECOSTRESS measures the temperature of plants as they heat up when they run out of water. But it can also measure and track heat-related phenomena like heat waves, fires, and volcanoes.
The ECOSTRESS mission launched to the space station on June 29, 2018. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages the mission for the Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. ECOSTRESS is an Earth Venture Instrument mission; the program is managed by NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder program at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
More information about ECOSTRESS is available here: https://ecostress.jpl.nasa.gov/.