MODIS Aqua Level 3 SST Thermal IR 8 Day 9km Daytime V2019.0
Please contact us if there are any discrepancies or inaccuracies found below.
DescriptionDay and night spatially gridded (L3) global NASA skin sea surface temperature (SST) products from the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard the Aqua satellite. Average daily, weekly (8 day), monthly and annual skin SST products at are available at both 4.63 and 9.26 km spatial resolution. Aqua was launched by NASA on May 4, 2002, into a sun synchronous, polar orbit with a daylight ascending node at 13:30, formation flying in the A-train with other Earth Observation Satellites (EOS), to study the global dynamics of the Earth atmosphere, land and oceans. MODIS captures data in 36 spectral bands at a variety of spatial resolutions. Two SST products can be present in these files. The first is a skin SST produced for both day and night (NSST) observations, derived from the long wave IR 11 and 12 micron wavelength channels, using a modified nonlinear SST algorithm intended to provide continuity of SST derived from heritage and current NASA sensors. At night, a second SST product is generated using the mid-infrared 3.95 and 4.05 micron wavelength channels which are unique to MODIS; the SST derived from these measurements is identified as SST4. The SST4 product has lower uncertainty, but due to sun glint can only be used at night. To generate the L3 products the L2 pixels are binned into an integerized sinusoidal area grid (ISEAG) and mapped into an equidistant cylindrical (also known as Platte Carre projection. Additional projection detailed can be found at NASA MODIS L3 SST data products are generated by the NASA Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG) and Peter Minnett and his team at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) are responsible for sea surface temperature algorithm development, error statistics and quality flagging. JPL acquires MODIS ocean L3 SST data from the OBPG and is the official Physical Oceanography Data Archive (PO.DAAC) for SST. The R2019.0 supersedes the previous v2014.1 datasets which can be found at
Dataset TypeOPEN
Processing Level3
CoverageRegion: Global
Northernmost Latitude: 90 degrees
Southernmost Latitude: -90 degrees
Westernmost Longitude: -180 degrees
Easternmost Longitude: 180 degrees
Time Span: 2002-Jul-04 to Present
Granule Time Span: 2002-Jul-04 to 2020-Jun-25
ResolutionSpatial Resolution: 0.083 degrees (Latitude) x 0.083 degrees (Longitude)
Temporal Resolution: 8 Day
ProjectionType: Gridded
Detail: Equidistant Cylindrical
Ellipsoid: WGS 84
Latency240 hours
Name: Earth Observing System, AQUA (Aqua)
Orbit Period: 98.4 minutes
Inclination Angle: 98.1 degrees
Ascending Node: 1970-Jan-01 00:00:00
Name: Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)
Swath Width: 2330 km
Description: The MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument provides high radiometric sensitivity (12 bit) in 36 spectral bands ranging in wavelength from 0.4 m to 14.4 m. It is used for observing processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere.

ProjectEarth Observing System (EOS)
Data ProviderCreator: NASA OBPG
Release Place: OBPG, Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD,US
Release Date: 2020-Jan-15
Keyword(s)OBPG, MODIS, Aqua, sst, thermal IR, level 3, 8day, 9km, daytime, v2019.0
Questions related to this dataset? Contact
User's Guide
SST Reprocessing 2019.0
OBPG SST Reprocessing v2019.0 summary
Algorithm Descriptions
Additional resource to help better understand the algorithm(s) used in producing and/or calibrating/validating the dataset
MODIS level-3 SST
describes all the level 3 MODIS data
Additional Sites
Ocean Color Web Site
Reprocessing 2019.0
Citation NASA OBPG. 2020. MODIS Aqua Level 3 SST Thermal IR 8 Day 9km Daytime V2019.0. Ver. 2019.0. PO.DAAC, CA, USA. Dataset accessed [YYYY-MM-DD] at

Download Citation

For more information see Data Citations and Acknowledgments.

Journal Reference Werdell, P.J., B.A. Franz, S.W. Bailey, G.C. Feldman and 15 co-authors (2013). Generalized ocean color inversion model for retrieving marine inherent optical properties, Applied Optics 52, 2019-2037.