GOES-17, the latest weather satellite by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) has sent its first official image of the Earth, after three months of its launch into the space. Captured on May 20th, the views are incredible and are made available to the public today. The satellite was able to capture this amazing image even though it is having some problem in one of its instruments.
The satellite GOES-17 was mainly launched to work with another NOAA satellite GOES-16, which went into the space in the year 2016. Both the satellites are the part of GOES-R series, which will scan major part of the western hemisphere from the coast of Africa to New Zealand. The observations are made from 22,300 miles above the earth. The primary objective of this weather satellite send by the US is to monitor droughts, hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, fog, and lighting. Both the spacecraft send the pictures of our planet from time to time.
The latest snapshot that came out today is of the western hemisphere, taken by the GOES-17 instrument, known as Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) that scans the Earth in 16 spectral bands, which include infrared, visible and near-infrared channels. All these bands allow scientists to monitor the temperature and movements of the clouds in more depth so that we can get better weather forecasts than before.
However, as per the reports, the ABI on GOES-17 is facing some issues with its cooling system. This is causing the problem in the ABI as its infrared channel detectors are required to be cooled so that it can sense the incoming Infrared radiation coming from the Earth, says Jordan Gerth. Gerth is a research meteorologist at the University of Wisconsin, and he revealed the information in his email to the verge.
The infrared radiation plays a significant role to detect clouds during the night time when the sunlight doesn’t reflect through the clouds and back into space. But if the detectors of ABI heats up, it will affect the quality of the images it will send.
Though NASA and NOAA’s experts are working and trying to resolve the issue that disturbs the 13 spectral bands as soon as possible. According to the picture it has sent today, despite the problem of the cooling system, the ABI is still able to shoot some splendid views of the western hemisphere.