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10 Absolutely Incredible Images From the New GOES-16 Weather Satellite

23 Jan 2017, 1:07 pm

NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite, formerly known as GOES-R, has sent its first, high resolution images, and now people around the world can see what this revolutionary satellite sees. These images from GOES-16’s new Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument show the complete full disk of the Western Hemisphere and the continental United States in all 16 channels of the ABI instrument.

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This composite color full-disk visible image 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. The image shows 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.

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North America/CONUS- This image clearly shows the significant storm system that crossed North America that caused freezing and ice that resulted in dangerous conditions across the United States on January 15, 2017 resulting in loss of life. GOES-16 will offer 3x more spectral channels with 4x greater resolution, 5x faster than ever before.

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Advanced Baseline Imager 16 Channels – This 16-panel image shows the continental United States in the two visible, four near-infrared and 10 infrared channels on ABI. These channels help forecasters distinguish between differences in the atmosphere like clouds, water vapor, smoke, ice and volcanic ash. GOES-16 has three-times more spectral channels than earlier generations of GOES satellites.

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Dust Off the Coast of Africa – The Saharan Dust Layer can be discerned in the far right edge of this image of Earth. This dry air from the coast of Africa can have impacts on tropical cyclone intensity and formation. GOES-16’s ability to observe this phenomenon with its 16 spectral channels will enable forecasters to study related hurricane intensification as storms approach North America. These additional channels will also enable forecasters to differentiate between clouds from dust, or snow from clouds.

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The Caribbean – In May 2017, NOAA will announce the planned location for GOES-16. By November 2017, GOES-16 will be operational as either the GOES-East or GOES-West satellite. At its current check out location the satellite captured this image of the Caribbean and Florida. Here the satellite captures the shallows waters of the Caribbean.

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South America/Argentina – NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite captures a view of the entire Western Hemisphere, including our neighbors here in Argentina, South America. Storms are evident in the northeast and mountain wave clouds can be seen in the southwest.

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California – From its central location, GOES-16 captured this image of the west coast of the United States and the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Once GOES-16 is determined to be operational as either GOES-East or GOES-West, GOES-S, the next spacecraft in the series, which is planned for launch in Spring 2018 will be moved into the other operational position as GOES-17.

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Northeast Coast – On January 15, severe weather moved across the central United States before passing through the Northeast on the 16th and 17th where it resulted in wet and wintry weather for travelers across the region.

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Yucatan Peninsula – This area of Mexico and Central America is seen from GOES-16 with a largely cloud-free view. A fire and its associated smoke are evident over southern Mexico near the coast.

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The Moon from Geostationary Orbit – GOES-16 captured this view of the moon as it looked across the surface of the Earth on January 15. Like earlier GOES satellites, GOES-16 will use the moon for calibration.

 


GOES-16 was launched on Nov. 19, 2016 at 6:42pm EST from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first images usher in a new era of Earth and space weather observation for the U.S. “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,” said Stephen Volz, Ph.D., NOAA’s Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services. “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.”

GOES-16 is the first spacecraft in the GOES-R series of four new NOAA geostationary satellites, capturing higher resolution images of weather patterns and atmospheric phenomena than any of NOAA’s GOES satellites to-date. The higher resolution will allow forecasters to pinpoint the location of severe weather with greater accuracy, ultimately saving lives.

This composite color full-disk visible image was captured at 1:07pm EST on January 15, 2017, and created using several of the 16 spectral channels available on the ABI. The image shows 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 from the coast of West Africa, to Guam, and everything in between.

GOES-16’s ABI instrument, built by Harris Corporation, can multi-task in a way that older satellites cannot. It can provide a full disk image of the Earth every 15 minutes, one of the continental U.S. every five minutes, and has the ability to target regional areas where severe weather, hurricanes, wildfires, volcanic eruptions or other high-impact environmental phenomena are occurring as often as every 30 seconds. ABI covers the Earth five-times faster than the current generation GOES imagers, and has four-times greater spatial resolution, allowing meteorologists to see smaller features.

This 16-panel image shows the continental United States in the two visible, four near-infrared and 10 infrared channels on ABI. These channels help forecasters distinguish between differences in the atmosphere like clouds, water vapor, smoke, ice and volcanic ash. GOES-16 has three-times more spectral channels than earlier generations of GOES satellites. The significant storm system that crossed North America on January 15, 2017 and caused freezing and ice that resulted in dangerous conditions across the United States is clearly visible.

“This image is much more than a pretty picture, it is the future of weather observations and forecasting,” said Louis W. Uccellini, Ph.D., director, NOAA’s National Weather Service. “High resolution imagery from GOES-16 will provide sharper and more detailed views of hazardous weather systems and reveal features that previous instruments might have missed, and the rapid-refresh of these images will allow us to monitor and predict the evolution of these systems more accurately. As a result, forecasters can issue more accurate, timely, and reliable watches and warnings, and provide better information to emergency managers and other decision makers.”

Once operational later this year, GOES-16 will support short-term forecasts, watches and warnings, maritime forecasts, wildfire monitoring, volcanic ash monitoring and space weather predictions. The National Weather Service and other forecasters using GOES-16 imagery will now have a wide range of uses and societal benefits in areas such as severe weather, energy, transportation and commerce. GOES-R will improve hurricane tracking and intensity forecasts, increase thunderstorm and tornado warning lead time, improve aviation flight route planning, provide data for long-term climate variability studies, improve solar flare warnings for communications and navigation disruptions, and will enhance space weather monitoring.

In May, NOAA will announce the planned location for GOES-16. By November 2017, GOES-16 will be operational as either the GOES-East or GOES-West satellite. Following on the heels of GOES-R will be GOES-S, the next spacecraft in the series, which is planned for launch in Spring 2018. GOES-S is undergoing environmental testing at Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Littleton, Colorado, facility, where it was built. A full set of environmental, mechanical and electromagnetic testing will take about one year to complete. After its initial on-orbit checkout the GOES-S satellite will be moved into the other operational position as GOES-17.

NOAA’s satellites are the backbone of its life-saving weather forecasts. GOES-16 will build upon and extend the more than 40-year legacy of satellite observations from NOAA that the American public has come to rely upon.

One response to “10 Absolutely Incredible Images From the New GOES-16 Weather Satellite

  1. Cool Stuff, It’s amazing to see how clear the images are with this. I can’t wait to see what a hurricane will look like on this new satellite.

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