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Encyclopedia > Weather satellite
GOES-8, a United States weather satellite.

A weather satellite is a type of satellite that is primarily used to monitor the weather and climate of the Earth. These meteorological satellites, however, see more than clouds and cloud systems. City lights, fires, effects of pollution, auroras, sand and dust storms, snow cover, ice mapping, boundaries of ocean currents, energy flows, etc., are other types of environmental information collected using weather satellites. Image File history File links Goes-8. ... Image File history File links Goes-8. ... An Earth observation satellite, ERS 2 For other uses, see Satellite (disambiguation). ... Weather is a term that encompasses phenomena in the atmosphere of a planet. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... An Earth observation satellite, ERS 2 For other uses, see Satellite (disambiguation). ... Cumulus mediocris clouds, as seen from a plane window. ... A forest fire Fire is a rapid oxidation process that creates light, heat, smoke, frost, and releases energy in varying intensities. ... It has been suggested that Pollutant be merged into this article or section. ... Aurora borealis Polar aurorae are optical phenomena characterized by colorful displays of light in the night sky. ... Animation of snowcover changing with the seasons Trees covered with snow Snow covering a leaf. ... Snowflakes by Wilson Bentley, 1902 Ice is the name given to any one of the 14 known solid phases of water. ... An ocean current is any more or less continuous, directed movement of ocean water that flows in one of the Earths oceans. ...


Weather satellite images helped in monitoring the volcanic ash cloud from Mount St. Helens and activity from other volcanoes such as Mount Etna. Smoke from fires in the western United States such as Colorado and Utah have also been monitored. For the mountain in California see Mount Saint Helena. Mount St. ... Mount Etna (also known as Mongibeddu in Sicilian and Mongibello in Italian, a combination of Latin mont- and Arabic jebel, both meaning mountain) is an active volcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. ... Fire in San Bernardino, California Mountains (image taken from the International Space Station) A wildfire, also known as a forest fire, vegetation fire, grass fire, or bushfire (in Australasia), is an uncontrolled fire in wildland often caused by lightning; other common causes are human carelessness and arson. ... Official language(s) English Capital Denver Largest city Denver Area  Ranked 8th  - Total 104,185 sq mi (269,837 km²)  - Width 280 miles (451 km)  - Length 380 miles (612 km)  - % water 0. ... Official language(s) English Capital Salt Lake City Largest city Salt Lake City Area  Ranked 13th  - Total 84,889 sq mi (219,887 km²)  - Width 270 miles (435 km)  - Length 350 miles (565 km)  - % water 3. ...


Other environmental satellites can detect changes in the Earth's vegetation, sea state, ocean color, and ice fields. For example, the 2002 oil spill off the northwest coast of Spain was watched carefully by the European ENVISAT, which, though not a weather satellite, flies an instrument (ASAR) which can see changes in the sea surface.


El Niño and its effects on weather are monitored daily from satellite images. The Antarctic ozone hole is mapped from weather satellite data. Collectively, weather satellites flown by the U.S., Europe, India, China, Russia, and Japan provide nearly continuous observations for a global weather watch. Chart of ocean surface temperature anomaly [°C] during the last strong El Niño in December 1997 El Niño and La Niña (also written in English as El Nino and La Nina) are major temperature fluctuations in surface waters of the tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean. ...

Contents

History

The first television image of Earth from space from the TIROS-1 weather satellite.
The first television image of Earth from space from the TIROS-1 weather satellite.

The first weather satellite, Vanguard 2, was launched on 17 February 1959. It was designed to measure cloud cover and resitance, but a poor axis of rotation kept it from collecting a notable amount of useful data. Download high resolution version (590x658, 236 KB)First TV image of Earth from space. ... Download high resolution version (590x658, 236 KB)First TV image of Earth from space. ... // Vanguard 2 or Vanguard II was an earth-orbiting satellite designed to measure cloud-cover distribution over the daylight portion of its orbit. ... February 17 is the 48th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The first weather satellite to be considered a success was TIROS-1, launched by NASA on 1 April 1960. TIROS operated for 78 days and proved to be much more successful than Vanguard 2. TIROS paved the way for the Nimbus program, whose technology and findings are the heritage of most of the Earth-observing satellites NASA and NOAA have launched since then. First TV image of Earth from space TIROS-1 (or TIROS-I) was the first successful weather satellite, and the first of a series of TIROS satellites. ... is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... The Nimbus satellites were second-generation U.S. unmanned spacecraft for meteorological research and development. ...


Types

There are two basic types of meteorological satellites: geostationary and polar orbiting. Geostationary orbit A geostationary orbit (GEO) is a geosynchronous orbit directly above the Earths equator (0° latitude), with orbital eccentricity of zero. ... A satellite in a polar orbit passes above or nearly above both poles of the planet (or other celestial body) on each revolution. ...


Geostationary weather satellites orbit the Earth above the equator at altitudes of 35,880 km (22,300 miles). Because of this orbit, they remain stationary with respect to the rotating Earth and thus can record or transmit images of the entire hemisphere below continuously with their visible-light and infrared sensors. The news media use the geostationary photos in their daily weather presentation as single images or made into movie loops. World map showing the equator in red In tourist areas, the equator is often marked on the sides of roads The equator marked as it crosses Ilhéu das Rolas, in São Tomé and Príncipe. ... Altitude is the elevation of an object from a known level or datum. ... Two bodies with a slight difference in mass orbiting around a common barycenter. ... News media satellite up-link trucks and photojournalists gathered outside the Prudential Financial headquarters in Newark, New Jersey in August, 2004 following the announcement of evidence of a terrorist threat to it and to buildings in New York City. ...


Several geostationary meteorological spacecraft are in operation. The United States has two in operation; GOES-11 and GOES-12. GOES-12 is designated GOES-East, over the Amazon River and provides most of the U.S. weather information. GOES-11 is GOES-West over the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Japanese have one in operation; MTSAT-1R over the mid Pacific at 140°E. The Europeans have Meteosat-8 (3.5°W) and Meteosat-9 (0°) over the Atlantic Ocean and have Meteosat-6 (63°E) and Meteosat-7 (57.5°E) over the Indian Ocean. The Russians operate the GOMS over the equator south of Moscow. India also operates geostationary satellites which carry instruments for meteorological purposes. China operates the Feng-Yun(風雲) geostationary satellites, FY-2C at 105°E and FY-2D at 86.5°E. Goes is a municipality and a city in the southwestern Netherlands, in Zuid-Beveland. ... This article is about the river. ... MTSAT are a series of weather and aviation control satellites. ... World map showing the location of Europe. ... GOMS stands for Goals, Operators, Methods, and Selection rules, an approach to human computer interaction observation developed by Stuart Card, Thomas P. Moran & Allen Newell, and spelled out in their book The Psychology of Human Computer Interaction, 1983. ... Position of Moscow in Europe Coordinates: , Country District Subdivision Russia Central Federal District Federal City Government  - Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov Area  - City 1,081 km²  (417. ... Feng Yun (born October 2, 1966 in Liaoning, China is a professional go player. ...

Computer controlled motorized parabolic dish antenna for tracking LEO weather satellites.
Computer controlled motorized parabolic dish antenna for tracking LEO weather satellites.

Polar orbiting weather satellites circle the Earth at a typical altitude of 850 km (530 miles) in a north to south (or vice versa) path, passing over the poles in their continuous flight. Polar satellites are in sun-synchronous orbits, which means they are able to observe any place on Earth and will view every location twice each day with the same general lighting conditions due to the near-constant local solar time. Polar orbiting weather satellites offer a much better resolution than their geostationary counterparts due their closeness to the Earth. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (725x1168, 270 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Weather satellite ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (725x1168, 270 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Weather satellite ... A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit in which objects such as satellites are below intermediate circular orbit (ICO) and far below geostationary orbit, but typically around 350 - 1400 km above the Earths surface. ... By analogy with the geosynchronous orbit, a heliosynchronous orbit is a heliocentric orbit of radius 24. ... Solar time is based on the idea that when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, it is noon. ...


The United States has the NOAA series of polar orbiting meteorological satellites, presently NOAA 17 and NOAA 18 as primary spacecraft, NOAA 15 and NOAA 16 as secondary spacecraft, NOAA 14 in standby, and NOAA 12. Europe has the Metop-A satellite. Russia has the Meteor and RESURS series of satellites. China and India have polar orbiting satellites as well. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a scientific agency of the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. ... The Meteor craft are weather observation satellites launched by the USSR. The Meteor satellites were designed to monitor atmospheric and sea-surface temperatures, humidity, radiation, sea ice conditions, snow-cover, and clouds. ...


Visible-light images from weather satellites during local daylight hours are easy to interpret even by the average person; clouds, cloud systems such as fronts and tropical storms, lakes, forests, mountains, snow ice, fires, and pollution such as smoke, smog, dust and haze are readily apparent. Even wind can be determined by cloud patterns, alignments and movement from successive photos. A shelf cloud associated with a heavy or severe thunderstorm over Enschede, Netherlands A storm is any disturbed state of an astronomical bodys atmosphere, especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather. ... A man-made lake in Keukenhof, Netherlands A lake is a body of water or other liquid of considerable size contained on a body of land. ... A forest is an area with a high density of trees (or, historically, a wooded area set aside for hunting). ... Lyskamm, 4 527 m, Pennine Alps A mountain is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain in a limited area. ... Victorian London was notorious for its thick smogs, or pea-soupers, a fact that is often recreated to add an air of mystery to a period costume drama. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


The thermal or infrared images recorded by sensors called scanning radiometers enable a trained analyst to determine cloud heights and types, to calculate land and surface water temperatures, and to locate ocean surface features. These infrared pictures depict ocean eddies or vortices and map currents such as the Gulf Stream which are valuable to the shipping industry. Fishermen and farmers are interested in knowing land and water temperatures to protect their crops against frost or increase their catch from the sea. Even El Niño phenomena can be spotted. Using color-digitized techniques, the gray shaded thermal images can be converted to color for easier identification of desired information. Categories: Stub ... For other uses, see Farmer (disambiguation). ...


Snowfield monitoring, especially in the Sierra Nevada, can be helpful to the hydrologist keeping track of how much snow is available for runoff vital to the water sheds of the western United States. This information is gleaned from existing satellites of all agencies of the U.S. government (in addition to local, on-the-ground measurements). Ice floes, packs and bergs can also be located and tracked from weather space craft. The Sierra Nevada (Spanish for Snowy Range) is a mountain range that is almost entirely in the eastern portion of the U.S. state of California. ...


Even pollution whether it's nature-made or man-made can be pinpointed. The visual and infrared photos show effects of pollution from their respective areas over the entire earth. Aircraft and rocket pollution, as well as condensation trails, can also be spotted. The ocean current and low level wind information gleaned from the space photos can help predict oceanic oil spill coverage and movement. Almost every summer, sand and dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa drifts across the equatorial regions of the Atlantic Ocean. GOES-EAST photos enable meteorologists to observe, track and forecast this sand cloud. In addition to reducing visibilities and causing respiratory problems, sand clouds suppress hurricane formation by modifying the solar radiation balance of the tropics. Other dust storms in Asia and mainland China are common and easy to spot and monitor, with recent examples of dust moving across the Pacific ocean and reaching North America. Look up aircraft in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A Soyuz rocket, at Baikanur launch pad. ... Contrails are condensation trails (sometimes vapour trails): artificial cirrus clouds made by the exhaust of aircraft engines or wingtip vortices which precipitate a stream of tiny ice crystals in moist, frigid upper air. ... Summer is one of the four seasons of the year. ... The Sahara is the worlds second largest desert (second to Antarctica), over 9,000,000 km² (3,500,000 mi²), located in northern Africa and is 2. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... This article is about weather phenomena. ... Solar irradiance spectrum at top of atmosphere. ... A sandstorm approaching Al Asad, Iraq, just before nightfall on April 27 2005. ... World map showing the location of Asia. ... ... North America North America is a continent [1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ...

Image from the GOES-9 weather satellite of Hurricane Felix.
Image from the GOES-9 weather satellite of Hurricane Felix.

The United States Department of Defense's Meteorological Satellite (DMSP) can "see" the best of all weather vehicles with its ability to detect objects almost as 'small' as a huge oil tanker. In addition, of all the weather satellites in orbit, only DMSP can "see" at night in the visual. Some of the most spectacular photos have been recorded by the night visual sensor; city lights, volcanoes, fires, lightning, meteors, oil field burn-offs, as well as the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis have been captured by this 450-mile-high space vehicle's low moonlight sensor. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2403x1387, 2517 KB) From http://www1. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2403x1387, 2517 KB) From http://www1. ... The United States Department of Defense (DOD or DoD) is the federal department charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the military. ... An artist’s impression showing one of the Block 5D-2 spacecraft in orbit. ... A tanker is usually a vehicle carrying large amounts of liquid fuel. ... For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ... Photo of a burst of meteors with extended exposure time A meteor is the visible path of a meteoroid that enters the Earths (or another bodys) atmosphere, commonly called a shooting star or falling star. ... Aurora borealis Polar aurorae are optical phenomena characterized by colorful displays of light in the night sky. ... Aurora borealis Polar aurorae are optical phenomena characterized by colorful displays of light in the night sky. ...


At the same time, energy monitoring as well as city growth can be accomplished since both major and even minor cities, as well as highway lights, are conspicuous. This informs Astronomers of light pollution. The New York Blackout of 1977 was captured by one of the night orbiter DMSP space vehicles. An astronomer or astrophysicist is a person whose area of interest is astronomy or astrophysics. ... This time exposure photo of New York City shows sky glow, one form of light pollution. ...


In addition to monitoring city lights, these photos are a life saving asset in the detection and monitoring of fires. Not only do the satellites see the fires visually day and night, but the thermal and infrared scanners on board these weather satellites detect potential fire sources below the surface of the Earth where smoldering occurs. Once the fire is detected, the same weather satellites provide vital information about wind that could fan or spread the fires. These same cloud photos from space tell the firefighter when it will rain. Image of two girls in mid-infrared (thermal) light (false-color) Infrared (IR) radiation is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength longer than that of visible light, but shorter than that of radio waves. ... A Canadian firefighter A firefighter is trained and equipped to extinguish fires, rescue people, aid and assist during natural disasters and, increasingly, provide emergency medical services. ...


In remote areas of the world with few local observers, fires could rage out of control for days or even weeks and consume millions of acres before authorities are alerted. Weather satellites can be a tremendous asset in such situations. Nighttime photos also clearly show the burn-off in the gas and oil fields of the Middle East and African countries. This burn-off throws large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... Carbon dioxide is a chemical compound composed of one carbon and two oxygen atoms, and is in a gaseous state in the atmosphere of the Earth. ... Earths atmosphere is the layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth and retained by the Earths gravity. ...


Dramatic photos are provided by all the weather satellites, but even more definitive were the DMSP night visible-light pictures of the 700 oil well fires that Iraq started on 23 February 1991 as they fled Kuwait. These fires were vividly illustrated as huge flashes in the night photos, far outstripping the glow of large populated areas. The fires consumed millions of gallons of oil; the last was doused on November 6. February 23 is the 54th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... November 6 is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


See also

A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit in which objects such as satellites are below intermediate circular orbit (ICO) and far below geostationary orbit, but typically around 350 - 1400 km above the Earths surface. ...

External links


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