What can you notice on this newest international image of Earth? There are crisp turquoise seas round Cuba, an agricultural fireplace in Northern India and, after all, the remainder of our planet as seen within the first full view from NOAA’s newest Earth-observing satellite tv for pc NOAA-21.
The Earth photographs that make up this mosaic, and some closeups, had been taken on Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 by an instrument known as the Seen Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard the satellite tv for pc, which launched on Nov. 10 from the Vandenberg House Power Base on Nov. 10. (The spacecraft was beforehand known as JPSS-2.) VIIRS collects photographs in each the seen and infrared gentle spectra, permitting scientists to see particulars of Earth’s floor.
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VIIRS gives important info to scientists about Earth’s oceans, environment and land. It could actually detect variations within the ocean’s colour, telling scientists the place phytoplankton are, or whether or not harmful algal blooms have fashioned alongside human-settled coasts. The instrument’s atmospheric information can assist scientists forecast and monitor storm motion.
NOAA-21 is the second operational satellite tv for pc in a collection known as the Joint Polar Satellite tv for pc System, which gives international, pole-to-pole photographs. The last JPSS satellite, now referred to as NOAA-20, launched in November 2017. Earlier than that, the NOAA-NASA Suomi Nationwide Polar-Orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP), which supplied a blueprint for the JPSS, launched in 2011.
The satellites orbit pole-to-pole, observing the whole thing of Earth’s floor twice per day. It cruises 512 miles (824 kilometers) above Earth at 17,000 mph (27,360 kph) and crosses the equator 14 instances per day. They usually all carry a VIIRS instrument.