First Images From NOAA’s New Weather Satellite Has Just Arrived

Posted: Jan 23 2017, 1:23pm CST | by , Updated: Jan 23 2017, 7:42pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
First Images from NOAA’s New Weather Satellite has Just Arrived
GOES-16 captured this view of the moon as it looked across the surface of the Earth on January 15. Credit: NASA/NOAA

GOES-16's very high-definition images are clearer than any other weather satellite

NOAA’s new weather satellite GOES-16 has just sent back its first incredible views of Earth after being launched from the Cape Canaveral on November 19. These extremely high-resolution images are a giant leap towards a new age of weather satellites.

The newly-released images, taken by Advanced Baseline Imager instrument, provide the most detailed view ever of Western Hemisphere, simply because GOES-16 has four times better resolution and more than five times faster coverage than any existing satellite. This means the satellite GOES-16 can provide a full image of Earth every 15 minutes and one of the 48 US states in every 5 minute. It can also collect three times more data compared to current GOES satellites.

A photo posted by NASA Goddard (@nasagoddard) on

Weather satellites, like GOES-16, are backbone of weather forecast and understanding changes in weather pattern. As the satellite data reaches the earth, meteorologists run model to provide a reliable forecast of weather. This next generation satellite will improve detection of fog, ice and lightning and will generate better estimates of wind speed and direction, which will enable researchers to pinpoint the location of severe weather as soon as it forms. The data will boost weather observation network and ensure more accurate and timely weather forecast.

“This is such an exciting day for NOAA! One of our GOES-16 compared this to seeing a newborn baby’s first pictures – it’s that exciting for us.” said Stephen Volz, director of NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service.

“These images come from the most sophisticated technology ever flown in space to predict severe weather on Earth. The fantastically rich images provide us with our first glimpse of the impact GOES-16 will have on developing life-saving forecasts.”

GOES-16, formally known as GOES-R, is currently orbiting Earth 22,300 miles above its surface. The satellite is carrying six new instruments, including Geostationary Lightning Mapper. It is an important indicator of where and when a storm is likely to intensify and a revolutionary tool in predicting thunderstorms and tropical cyclones.

By November 2017, GOES-16 will be operational. Once operational, NOAA will be able to receive and used data from its six instruments.

GOES-16 is a collaborative effort between NOAA and NASA. There are four satellites in the series which will extend its operational lifetime through December 2036.

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