Let us take a moment to appreciate how beautiful Earth is.
This image was taken by the GOES-16 satellite which was launched on November 19, 2016. It is the latest of a series of environmental satellites to be launched in space by the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA), in collaboration with NASA.
This new generation GOES satellite is a superior upgrade to the old GOES system. It is packed with state-of-the-art instruments and data processing hardware. It boasts three and four times the spectral and spatial resolution respectively compared to the old system. It has faster coverage, meaning that the new satellite can scan the earth at a much faster rate, and is able to map in real-time, lightning activity from space. The improved specs also allows the satellite to provide earlier hurricane and tornado warning, improved hurricane tracking, solar flares and solar fluxes. Essentially, it’s equipped with a super high definition camera that can take colour photos, with a smarter and faster brain.
To appreciate how vast a difference in image quality this satellite can take as compared to the previous generation GOES satellite, notice the fine details that you can pick out; the wisps of clouds, like cotton candy, sharp demarcations between land and sea, the contours of mountain ranges, and even the color of the land, whether it is filled with dense vegetation or simply just lifeless desert. The image taken with the old system is grainy, pixelleted and worse, it’s in black-and-white.