NOAA's New Satellite Reveals Earth in Stunning Detail
This composite color full-disk visible image is from 1:07 p.m. EDT on Jan. 15, 2017 and was created using several of the 16 spectral channels available on the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument.NOAA
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By Matthew Nighswander
NOAA's new weather satellite sent back its first images and the Earth has never looked sharper.
22,300 miles above the Earth sounds like a long way, but from that distance the GOES-16 satellite is able to capture high-resolution images that are allowing us to see our planet in clearer detail than we ever have before.
Launched in November 2016, the new satellite is the first of four new satellites that will transmit images at a higher-resolution than previously possible. The resulting pictures are pretty to look at but that's not the point. These images could save lives.
"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," said Louis W. Uccellini, Ph.D., director, NOAA’s National Weather Service. "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."
Click on the images below to see them at a larger scale and fully admire their detail.
Matt Nighswander joined NBCNews.com as a multimedia producer in July 2012. Nighswander is part of the team responsible for selecting photos for the site and creating original content based on photography. Among his individual responsibilities is the Month in Space slideshow. Nighswander reports to James Collins, director of photography.
Nighswander joined NBCNews.com from MSN.com, where he was a lead homepage photo editor.
Prior to his work at MSN, he was an international photo editor at The Associated Press and received an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago.