About three months after its launch, the GOES-17 weather satellite sent back images of Earth and they’re absolutely incredible.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launched its GOES-17 weather satellite back in March, and after three months, we’ve finally received the images that the satellite captured of our planet and the views are AMAZING.
GOES-17, which was part of the GOES-R series and built by Lockheed Martin, joined the GOES-16 satellite (launched in 2016) and both are able to scan a majority of the Western Hemisphere.
The images were taken using an instrument called the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) and it can scan the entire planet in 16 spectral bands — including two visible, four near-infrared, and 10 infrared channels.
“This imagery was created using two visible bands (blue and red) and one near-infrared “vegetation” band that are functional with the current cooling system performance,” according to a press release statement by the NOAA.
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) May 31, 2018
The NOAA also said that when combined into a “GeoColor” image, “these bands provide valuable information for monitoring dust, haze, smoke, clouds, fog, winds and vegetation.”
There is one huge complication and hiccup occurring with the GOES-17 satellite: it can’t remain cool enough for its instruments to function at full capacity, as briefly mentioned above. Because of this, among other things, GOES-17 can’t use its infrared detectors.
However, once everything has been fixed and the kinks are all ironed out, NOAA assures that the data and imagery captured will be used to monitor major weather fluctuations from hurricanes to droughts to wildfires and everything else in between.
If, for whatever reason, the weather satellite isn’t fully operational by the end of the year, NOAA will look for alternative methods to use ABI.
Despite all of the issues with its cooling system, you’ve got to admit that the views are pretty dang impressive.
First ABI Full Disk Imagery:
View of Stratocumulus Clouds:
Clouds Over California:
View of Fires in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada:
So, what do you think of the new images captured by NOAA’s weather satellite? Crazy, right?? It’s mind-boggling what we can do with technology these days. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Now, I’m not sure about you, but when I first saw the image of Earth I was immediately reminded of a scene from that movie Rocket Man (starring Harland Willaims) from the late ’90s. And if you’ve seen the movie, I think you know exactly what scene I’m talking about …