The operators of the Himawari-8 weather satellite provide a fresh full-disc picture of Earth every 10 minutes. This is a great resource and powers applications such as RealEarth.

Are there any other Earth observation satellites that make real-time imagery publicly available?

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as live satellite imagery yet. Space agencies and commercial imaging companies are trying to reduce interval between image acquisition and delivery, but the most frequently updated imagery in free public use is still the one from weather satellites. You may choose to buy commercial images from DigitalGlobe, Airbus, Urthecast which provide on-demand satellite tasking. You can literally send a satellite to a specific location at a certain time to collect images or you can use free imagery browsers with regularly updated imagery from active satellites, like LandViewer.

  • MODIS images are acquired every 2 days for each point on Earth.
  • Sentinel-2 provides fresh images of your area once every 5 days, not as frequently but the spatial resolution is up to 10m per pixel (for certain bands).
  • Sentinel-1 radar data gets updated every 6-12 days depending on location.
  • Landsat 8 and 7 satellites have 16 days revisit time and they have 8 days shift between them. So, you can have Landsat image every 8 days if you use images from both satellites; provided you will do additional image processing.

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