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NOAA New Satellite GOES-16 Sends First Image of Earth

Jan 25, 2017 11:40 AM EST
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There's a new satellite capturing stunning images of the planet. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launched GOES-16 last year and the agency recently released an image of Earth taken by the new satellite.

GOES-16 was launched from Florida last Nov. 19. While the image was taken last Jan. 15.

"The first images from GOES-16 have arrived! Join us in marveling at theses breathtaking, high-resolution images from NOAA's next-generation geostationary satellite and get a glimpse of the future of and weather forecasting," NOAA announced on its official website.

NOAA's GOES-16 satellite was formerly known as Goes-R. The satellite made use of its Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument on board to capture the western hemisphere of the planet. According to the agency, the debut of the image marks the new age of satellite weather observations using the innovate satellite.

"Seeing these first images from GOES-16 is a foundational moment for the team of scientists and engineers who worked to bring the satellite to launch and are now poised to explore new weather forecasting possibilities with this data and imagery," Stephen Volz, Ph.D., NOAA's Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services said in a press release. 

"The incredibly sharp images are everything we hoped for based on our tests before launch. We look forward to exploiting these new images, along with our partners in the meteorology community, to make the most of this fantastic new satellite," he added.

Based on NOAA's report, GOES-16 is the first in the GOES-R range composed of four geostationary satellites. The fleet of new satellites will be responsible for obtaining high-resolution images of weather activities including weather patterns and other phenomena. For forecasters, the higher quality of images produced will also yield better observation and accuracy, which in turn, will be able to save more lives.

The ABI instrument is capable of providing a full disk image of the planet every 15 minutes. It can also target areas where high-impact weather and environment disturbances might occur such as hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and wildfires, according to NASA.

Accurate weather observations will help forecasters and scientists identify weather activities that will then lead to advanced and early warning and evacuation if needed, for residents near areas where hurricanes and other environmental disasters might occur.

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