Watch sunlight and weather patterns move across Earth throughout the day, and bask in the glory of our blue marble in real time.
Every 20 minutes (or every hour, you pick), Downlink updates your desktop background with the freshest images of Earth.
Choose from different views of Earth, from close ups of the tropics, to the continental US, to the absolutely stunning full disk images from 3 different geostationary satellites.
You can even create your own views—zoom in close on where you live, pick your favorite hemisphere, or pick somewhere else beautiful!
Thanks to NASA, NOAA, JMA, Lockheed Martin, Harris Corporation, ULA, MHI, and everyone else who designed, built, launched, and operate GOES-16, GOES-17, and Himawari-8.
If you’d like to use the sources Downlink is built on top of, here is the file pointing to those resources. Use it, and tell me what you’ve built!
If you enjoy my work on Downlink, I also write and podcast about all things space over at Main Engine Cut Off.
Other Views, Europe, & Africa?
As new sources come online, they’ll be added to the app as fast as possible.
As of yet, though, I haven’t been able to find an open and available data source for Europe and/or Africa with the image quality and refresh frequency needed.
If and when one is available, it’ll be in the app.
Help & Privacy
If you need help, take a look at the help documentation.
If you’re looking for a press kit complete with logos and screenshots, you can download one here (that’s a 70 MB zip file).
Downlink does not collect or store any data. It downloads a configuration file from this website, and images from noaa.gov and rammb.cira.colostate.edu. That’s it.
If you notice a lot of files being cached in the com.apple.desktoppicture directory, read this.
- Added Shuffle Mode, which randomly selects a view on each refresh interval.
- Added an option in the Settings dropdown to have the Downlink window shown or hidden on launch.
- Fixed an issue that was causing non-active cropped images to be downloaded more frequently than needed.
- Fixed rendering issues causing a mismatched background color between full disk images and the rest of your desktop.
- Major performance improvements to cropped thumbnail reloading that could cause a massive spike in memory usage at startup.
- Huge news! You can now create your own custom views within Downlink. Zoom in close on where you live, pick your favorite hemisphere, or pick somewhere else beautiful!
- Fixed rendering issues with some new images from GOES-East and GOES-West.
- Fixed a rendering issue with some new images from GOES-West.
- Added the ability to have different sources per display. Open the Downlink window on each display to select its source.
- Or disable a display entirely, by checking the option in the settings menu.
- Fixed an issue that prevented spaces from being updated with the freshest image.
- Fixed an issue that prevented downloads from being paused while the screen saver or lock was active.
- Added a “Refresh now” button to the settings menu (helpful if you need to force a re-download of a corrupted image).
- Fixed a rendering issue with some new images from GOES-East.