A new weather-tracking satellite has beamed back its first images of Earth from orbit, and the view is absolutely beautiful!
The new satellite, called GOES-16, is the first of four cutting-edge weather satellites — collectively known as GOES-R — to be launched into space, and the 16th GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite) mission in all.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been using these satellites to study weather patterns for decades. But the new and improved GOES-R group of satellites will provide the best, high-resolution views of Earth to date, allowing for more accurate weather forecasts and storm prediction capabilities, according to NOAA.
"This is such an exciting day for NOAA! One of our GOES-16 scientists compared this to seeing a newborn baby's first pictures — it's that exciting for us," Stephen Volz, director of NOAA's Satellite and Information Service, said in a statement. The new photo collection includes an updated version of the iconic "Blue Marble" image of Earth as seen from space.
"These images come from the most sophisticated technology ever flown in space to predict severe weather on Earth," Volz said. "The fantastically rich images provide us with our first glimpse of the impact GOES-16 will have on developing lifesaving forecasts."
After its launch on Nov. 19 atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, GOES-16 spent about two weeks getting to its final geostationary orbit about 22,300 miles (35,900 kilometers) above North America, near the equator. This type of orbit means that the satellite will always hover over the same part of the Earth, allowing it to continuously keep tabs on the weather.Read More...
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