NOAA's GOES-16 satellite sends first images of Earth

Two months after its launch, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES-16 weather satellite is sending back its first images - and they're spectacular. "One of our GOES-16 scientists compared this to seeing a newborn baby's first pictures - it's that exciting for us", Dr. Stephen Volz, the director of NOAA's Satellite and Information Service, said in a statement on Monday.

GOES-16 captured this view of the moon as it looked across the surface of the Earth on January 15.

The satellite launched on November 19, 2016.

Harris' Advanced Baseline Imager includes within it a high-resolution digital camera that is four times stronger than the cameras that had been in space. 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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In its first publicly released set of images, GOES-16 captured the planet in intricate detail.

A new weather-tracking satellite has beamed back its first images of Earth from orbit, and the view is absolutely handsome! "These images come from the most sophisticated technology ever flown in space to predict severe weather on Earth".

The Caribbean islands and part of the southeastern United States are visible in this photo taken by NOAA's GOES-16 weather satellite.

This image clearly shows the significant storm system that crossed North America that caused freezing and ice that resulted in risky conditions across the United States on January 15, 2017 resulting in loss of life.

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A selection of the newest images from GOES-16 can be found here. If forecasters want to home in on an area of severe weather, it can scan that region every 30 seconds.

But GOES-16 doesn't always just see the Earth. At that time, it will be maneuvered into position as either GOES-East or GOES-West.

NOAA plans to launch a almost identical satellite, called GOES-S or GOES-17, in the spring of 2018 to replace its other older spacecraft.

GOES-16 close-up view of the U.S. northeast, Jan 15, 2017.

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