NASA shares incredible picture of Earth

James Marshall
January 25, 2017

"This is such an exciting day for NOAA!".

"You don't know what you're missing if you don't know it's an available measurement", said Stephen Volz, NOAA's Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services.

Like its predecessors, GOES-16 will use the moon for calibration purposes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explained in a statement.

A composite image of Earth taken at 1:07 p.m. ET on January 15 by the GOES-16 satellite.

The images of the planet and its only natural satellite were captured by GOES-16, the first of four cutting-edge weather satellites that are collectively called GOES-R.

From 22,300 miles (35,900 kilometers) above Earth, GOES-16 will not only improve the precision of forecasts but also add to Earth's overall weather observation network, NOAA researchers said.

Thanks to its next-generation instruments, the GOES-16 satellite will be able to image the Earth and its climate at an unprecedented quality, keeping track of weather phenomena and relaying data with more accuracy.

GOES-16 captured this image of the west coast of the US and the Baja Peninsula in Mexico.

In a photo comparison, it can be seen the remarkable difference between a photo taken by GOES-16 and GOES-13, a weather satellite with older technology.

The clarity at which GOES-16 can see Earth and the speed at which it can send back images makes it a new and upcoming tool in everything from severe weather and wildfire forecasting to volcano eruption monitoring. The second of the four satellites, GOES-17, now undergoing environmental testing and scheduled for a March 2018 launch, will cover the other position.

NOAA's satellites are the backbone of its life-saving weather forecasts.

In May 2017, NOAA will announce the planned location for GOES-16.

Here is an example of what GOES-16's predecessors now give us, in 4-kilometre [2.5-mile] and 1-km [0.6-mile] resolution.

NASA and NOAA launched the Lockheed Martin-built GOES-16R satellite atop a United Launch Alliance-built Atlas V rocket in November 2016.

This area of Mexico and Central America is seen from GOES-16 with a largely cloud-free view. Included in the release is a stunning shot of Earth's full disk, featuring our planet's Western Hemisphere wreathed in cloud.

The scientists are so pumped about it that they are already working on a second satellite in the GOES series, which is named GOES-S for now.

The next spacecraft in the series, GOES-S will be launched which in Spring 2018.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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