Consider satellite Imaging as your next art installation. At first glance they could appear to be an abstract work, but when you linger on the subject you begin to recognize something familiar. Satellite imaging art also functions as a historical document, as we will see with several examples below, capturing historical events for your own reflection or conversation with visitors.  Using NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), it captures data in 36 spectral bands ranging in wavelength, which capture vivid details that make for remarkable art pieces.

All images presented here were captured using MODIS, and placed on a Photo Paint Palette. Paint Palettes are available for all images, simply click.images below or visit mywholewall

california heat map

MODIS image of a heat wave that hit California in 2004. The blue-green cool of the Pacific ocean contrasts vividly with the spectrum heat waves emitting from California. The reds come across like a thick oil painting, but are actually wave lengths.  “Dramatic urbanization has resulted in an extreme makeover for Southern California, with more homes, lawns, shopping centers, traffic, freeways and agriculture, all absorbing and retaining solar radiation, making our megalopolis warmer,


southeast asia heat map

Heat map of Southeast Asia using Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. Map shows Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, parts of China and India., The orange and yellow contrast bright against the black. The islands almost look like flicks from a paintbrush.                                                                            April 15 to April 23, 2016. Yellow shows the warmest temperatures. April in Thailand is typically hot and sweaty but 2016 year’s scorching weather has set a record for the longest heat wave in at least 65 years.


australia heat map

Australia heat map. Almost luminescent print map shows the whole of Australia.Temperatures in this images reach up to 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit). The apparent discrepancy between reported temperatures and the temperatures that MODIS recorded has to do with the way MODIS measures temperature. The MODIS instrument records the thermal infrared radiative energy, or heat, of the land. Like a glowing stove burner or a light bulb filament, heated objects emit light, though only in some cases is the light visible. By recording the wavelength of the emitted light, scientists can determine how hot an object is. MODIS records the heat coming from the land surface, which can be matched to the temperature. The temperatures that are recorded at weather stations are air temperatures. Land surface temperatures are typically 15 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than air temperatures in dry regions when the sky is free of clouds.

14 fires california

14 fires in California October 23 2007. This is almost a ghostly image with white smoke drifting over the Pacific ocean from fires in Southern California. At least 14 massive fires are reported to have scorched about 425 square miles from north of Los Angeles to southeast of San Diego. Dry, drought-stricken vegetation and Santa Ana winds, which can reach hurricane speeds, have contributed to the devastating effect of these blazes.


cuba art

This crystal-clear image of southern Florida (top), Cuba (bottom) and the Bahamas (right) was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite on January 21, 2003. Beautiful aqua blue colors, and the ocean currents could be seen with the powdery white images. The red markings on the land masses represent fires.

great lakes art

The great freeze of the Great Lakes is seen here. Ice coverage reached 88 percent in mid-February 2014—levels not observed since 1994 The image uses a combination of shortwave infrared, near infrared, and red  that helps distinguish ice from snow, water, and clouds. Ice is pale blue (thicker ice is brighter), open water is navy, snow is blue-green, and clouds are white or blue-green (depending on temperature and composition).


Hawaii map art

Hawaii shown in true color. A combination of sunlight and cloud helped to create a stunning image of Hawaii in late July 2017. The islands visible in this image are the “Big Island” (Hawaii), Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau. Clouds cover much of each island, obscuring much of the green vegetation from view. The visible landscape appears mostly dark tan or black rocky outcroppings, where rainfall is lower and less vegetation grows.