Stunning images captured on Earth and from Space of weather and climate-related phenomena and interesting objects or events found in our amazing universe
This is a view we don’t usually get to see: the moon setting behind the horizon as seen from Japan’s Himawari-8 satellite (courtesy Washington Post/Capital Weather Gang). According to CWG, the “camera” technology is similar to that of GOES-16, NOAA’s new weather satellite. These are the most high-resolution images taken of the Earth from geostationary satellites — the ones that park over and continuously monitor a specific point. In the case of Himawari, it’s the western Pacific Ocean. The satellite is about 26,200 miles above the surface of the Earth. The distance to the moon is 11 times that.
Circled area on GOES-16 colorized IR image shows overshooting top of tornado-producing thunderstorm cell in SW Georgia (April 5th, 2017).
This colorized IR image features an intense storm system on March 24, 2017 which has produced significant snow in the Rocky Mountains and several inches in the Denver, Colorado metro region. This intense storm will very likely generate severe weather later today including numerous tornadoes in its warm sector across the south-central US.
The snowstorm on Tuesday, 3/14/17 left its mark on the Northeast US. This NOAA/GOES visible satellite image from Thursday, 3/16/17, reveals many geographic features in the snow covered Northeast US including many mountain ridges, the Finger Lakes (darker lines) in southwestern NY, eastern Great Lakes, and the Adirondack Mountains in upstate NY (darker circular region).
It is not all that common to see a massive storm right in the middle of Canada, but that's exactly what is featured in this "VIIRS, day/night band" satellite image from March 08, 2017. The classic "spiral" signature of a fully mature storm can be seen on this image as well as numerous pockets of city lights; primarily, on the US side of the border. In addition, the Great Lakes can be easily detected in the central area of the satellite image (courtesy University of Wisconsin/CIMSS).
What a difference a couple of months can make! This VIIRS true color image of California shows heavy snow cover over the Sierra Nevada Mountains and "green" across much of the rest of the state. Tremendous rainfall amounts during the past couple of months have ended drought conditions and the heavy snow that has piled up in the higher elevations of eastern California will be a great source of water (through melting) for months to come. (image courtesy University of Wisconsin/CIMSS)
Scotland is hit by a major snowstorm on February 22, 2017. The University of Dundee Satellite Receiving Station captured images of "Doris" sweeping through the region. The storm has the look of a fully mature system with a "comma-shaped" cloud pattern. Colder air on the north and west side of the storm is moving over relatively warm water resulting in the distinct appearance to the clouds.
These two images were taken only 15 minutes apart on Valentine's Day (2/14/17) and clearly highlight a major storm system that pounded New England with heavy snow and strong winds. Some of the most powerful nor'easters that hit the Mid-Atlantic region and Northeast US during the winter season can take on the appearance of an "eye-like" feature - similar to hurricanes that form during the tropical season. The "eye-like" feature is more clearly seen on the GOES East water vapor image (left) compared to the composite image (right) at similar times (courtesy NOAA, University of Wisconsin/SSEC McIdas). The composite image is a combination infrared satellite data from GOES-East and GOES-West.
An all-out snowstorm pounded much of the Northeast US on Thursday, February 9th, 2017 and this satellite image shows it clearly in the upper, right. Narrow streamers of clouds extend from the low pressure system near New England all the way to the western Gulf of Mexico indicating the extent of water vapor intrusion into the system. [image courtesy NOAA/NASA]
The release of the first images from NOAA’s newest satellite, GOES-16, is the latest step in a new age of weather satellites. 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. The image shows North and South America and the surrounding oceans. 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.
GOES-16, formerly known as GOES-R, is the first spacecraft in a new series of NASA-built advanced geostationary weather satellites. NASA successfully launched the satellite at 6:42 p.m. EST on Nov. 19, 2016, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NOAA manages the GOES-R Series Program through an integrated NOAA-NASA office. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, oversees the acquisition of the GOES-R series spacecraft and instruments.
Image Credit: NOAA/NASA
This bizarre looking cloud floated in the sky over ski resorts in Sweden on Thursday (Åre, Duved) prompting some to speculate that Martians had arrived for a day on the slopes. Many rushed to take pictures of the unusual phenomenon and posted them on social media. This happens to be a lenticular cloud which forms over mountain peaks when air is forced to rise up as it hits the hillside. As the air rises, it condenses into a cloud and they are often quite stationary with this type of "lens" shape. Normally these clouds will form in perpendicular alignment to the wind direction. These clouds are - not too surprisingly - often mistaken for UFOs.
"Ice balls" formed along the Lake Michigan shoreline at Port Sheldon Beach in Michigan, on January 14, 2017. The ice balls or boulders form when chunks of ice break off into the water and waves round them into spherical structures, according to The Weather Channel. The rare phenomenon was last spotted in Russia and sightings have been reported along the Lake Michigan shoreline in late 2016, 2015, and 2014.
The sun has been spotless for 6 straight days as we begin 2017 and for much of the time in the last month or so. Solar cycle 24 is weak and we are headed towards the next solar minimum. As a result, this blank look to the sun will become more and more frequent in upcoming months. (image from January 11, 2017; courtesy spaceweather.com)
On November 24, 2016, Tokyo received its first November snowfall in more than half a century. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image the same day. The snow fell in and around the Japanese capital, coating the metropolitan area and accumulating along some sidewalks.
The first widespread Great Lakes snow event has resulted in widespread heavy snows just downstream of the water (November 21, 2016). The perfect combination of cold Arctic air flowing over still warm water has generated snowbands oriented NW to SE in the air flow that has persisted for a couple of days. (Image courtesy NOOA/GOES)