Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The first images from the new weather satellite just arrived, and they’re absolutely incredible

GOES-16 captured this view of the moon, as it looks across the Pacific Northwest on Jan. 15.
As with earlier GOES spacecraft, GOES-16 will use the moon for calibration.

From Washington Post by Angela Fritz

The satellite formerly known as GOES-R (so Prince, right?) has transmitted its first images back to Earth, and they are flooring.
From the details on the face of the moon to the incredible resolution of cumulus over the Caribbean, these first pixels portend a sunny future for NOAA’s new GOES-16 satellite.
Meteorologists are drooling.
This release coincides with the first day of the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting. There are thousands of weather geeks in Seattle this week, and — at least on Monday — they’re all looking at this next-gen satellite imagery.
As we’ve written before, GOES-R satellite has six instruments, two of which are weather-related.
The Advanced Baseline Imager, developed by Harris Corp., is the “camera” that looks down on Earth.
The pictures it sends back will be clearer and more detailed than what’s created by the current satellites.

This composite color full-disk visible animation is from 1:07 p.m. EDT on January 15, 2017 and was created using several of the 16 spectral channels available on the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument.
Seen here are North and South America and the surrounding oceans.
GOES-16 observes Earth from an equatorial view approximately 22,300 miles high, creating full disk images like these, extending from the coast of West Africa, to Guam, and everything in between.
The GOES-16 data posted on this page are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing on-orbit testing.

The ABI can scan half the Earth — or the “full disk” — in five minutes.
If forecasters want to home in on an area of severe weather, it can scan that region every 30 seconds. Weather radars can’t even scan faster than six minutes.

 Clouds swirls about Mexico and Central America in this animation from GOES-16 captured on January 15, 2017.

The other weather instrument, the Global Lightning Mapper, will continuously track and transmit all lightning strikes across North America and its surrounding oceans.
Developed by Lockheed, it can detect the changes in light on Earth and thus the rate and intensity of lightning in thunderstorms and hurricanes.

Research has shown that lightning is an excellent early warning indicator for approaching severe storms and the development of tornadoes.
This data visualization shows actual lightning measurements captured by an array of ground-based lighting detectors capable of tracing how lightning propagates through the atmosphere and simulates how the GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper will monitor atmospheric flashes.
This technology could provide critical minutes of valuable warning time in advance of approaching severe storms.

GOES-16 is expected to go operational in November, approximately one year after its launch.

 On the right, an image from GOES-13 and on the left, the first public image from GOES-16, both taken Jan. 15.
 This composite color full-disk visible image (on the left) was captured 1:07 p.m. ET on Jan. 15 using several of the 16 spectral channels available on the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager.
The image shows North and South America and the surrounding oceans.

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