STAR MODIS Cloud Satellite Dataset

The changing climate represents one of the most important ecological issues concerning our planet. Changes in atmospheric trace gases, cloud over, cloud type, solar radiation, and tropospheric aerosols (liquid or solid particles suspended in the air) can have a profound impact on the climatic system as each property can modify the climate through changes in the radiative forcings. As such, it is important to correctly represent the climate and the associated forcings in conceptual and predictive global models. In an effort to monitor these properties, two MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instruments, the first launched on 18 December 1999 onboard the Terra Satellite Platform and the second on 4 May 2002 onboard the Aqua Satellite platform, were uniquely designed to observe and monitor these and other Earth changes on a global scale. A thorough description of global cloudiness and its associated properties is essential to the MODIS mission for two reasons. First, clouds play a critical role in the radiative balance of the Earth and must be accurately described in order to assess climate and potential climate change accurately. In addition, the presence or absence of cloudiness must be accurately determined in order to retrieve properly many atmospheric and surface parameters, including phase, optical thickness, and temperature. These and other cloud parameters are retrieved at a high resolution, allowing many details and fine features to be resolved accurately. The MODIS Cloud Product combines infrared and visible techniques to determine both physical and radiative cloud properties. Daily global Level 2 data are provided. Cloud-particle phase (ice vs. water, clouds vs. snow), effective cloud-particle radius, and cloud optical thickness are derived using the MODIS visible and near-infrared channel radiances. Cloud-top temperature, height, effective emissivity, phase (ice vs. water, opaque vs. non-opaque), and cloud fraction are produced by the infrared retrieval methods both day and night at 5 × 5 1-km-pixel resolution. Finally, the MODIS Cloud Product includes the cirrus reflectance in the visible at the 1-km-pixel resolution, which is useful for removing cirrus scattering effects from the land-surface reflectance product. There are two MODIS Cloud data product files: MOD06_L2, containing data collected from the Terra platform; and MYD06_L2, containing data collected from the Aqua platform. For further details see the NASA MODIS home page:

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Temporal Range

  • Begin:  2007-10-01T00:00:00Z
    End:  2007-12-01T00:00:00Z


Resource Type dataset
Temporal Range Begin 2007-10-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Range End 2007-12-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Resolution N/A
Bounding Box North Lat 68.50000
Bounding Box South Lat 59.00000
Bounding Box West Long -79.00000
Bounding Box East Long -59.50000
Spatial Representation N/A
Spatial Resolution N/A
Related Links

Documentation #1 : Metadata_MODIS_Cloud.pdf

Documentation #2 : STAR_Data_Report_Final2011.pdf

Additional Information N/A
Resource Format N/A
Standardized Resource Format UNDEFINED FORMAT
Asset Size 2447 MB
Legal Constraints


Access Constraints none
Software Implementation Language N/A

Resource Support Name EOL Data Support
Resource Support Email
Resource Support Organization UCAR/NCAR - Earth Observing Laboratory
Distributor UCAR/NCAR - Earth Observing Laboratory
Metadata Contact Name EOL Data Support
Metadata Contact Email
Metadata Contact Organization UCAR/NCAR - Earth Observing Laboratory

Author John Hanesiak
Ron Stewart
Kent Moore
Peter Taylor
Walter Strapp
Mengistu Wolde
Publisher UCAR/NCAR - Earth Observing Laboratory
Publication Date 2020-10-09T21:31:05
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Alternate Identifier 251.013
Resource Version 1.0
Topic Category climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
Progress completed
Metadata Date 2021-10-01T16:05:10Z
Metadata Record Identifier edu.ucar.eol::251.013
Metadata Language eng; USA
Suggested Citation John Hanesiak, Ron Stewart, Kent Moore, Peter Taylor, Walter Strapp, Mengistu Wolde. (2020). STAR MODIS Cloud Satellite Dataset. 1.0. UCAR/NCAR - Earth Observing Laboratory. Accessed 27 September 2023.

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