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11 Facts About the Weather Satellite

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The weather satellite is a type of satellite that is primarily used to monitor the weather and climate of the Earth.

Earth is the third planet from the Sun, the densest planet in the Solar System, the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets, and the only astronomical object known to harbor life.

Weather is the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy.

In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an artificial object which has been intentionally placed into orbit.

Weather Satellite History by Largest Dams

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Satellites can be polar orbiting, covering the entire Earth asynchronously, or geostationary, hovering over the same spot on the equator.

A geostationary orbit, geostationary Earth orbit or geosynchronous equatorial orbit is a circular orbit 35,786 kilometres above the Earth's equator and following the direction of the Earth's rotation.

The Equator usually refers to an imaginary line on the Earth's surface equidistant from the North Pole and South Pole, dividing the Earth into the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere.

In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of an object about a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet about a star or a natural satellite around a planet.

NASA/NOAA | Saved By A Weather Satellite by NASA Goddard

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Meteorological satellites see more than clouds and cloud systems.

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City lights, fires, effects of pollution, auroras, sand and dust storms, snow cover, ice mapping, boundaries of ocean currents, energy flows, etc. Other types of environmental information are collected using weather satellites.

An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of seawater generated by forces acting upon this mean flow, such as breaking waves, wind, the Coriolis effect, cabbeling, temperature and salinity differences, while tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon.

A dust storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions.

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Weather satellite images helped in monitoring the volcanic ash cloud from Mount St. Helens and activity from other volcanoes such as Mount Etna.

A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface.

Mount St. Helens or Louwala-Clough is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, in the Metropolitan City of Catania, between the cities of Messina and Catania.

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Smoke from fires in the western United States such as Colorado and Utah have also been monitored.

Colorado is a state in the United States encompassing most of the Southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains.

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Other environmental satellites can detect changes in the Earth's vegetation, sea state, ocean color, and ice fields.

Earth observation satellites are satellites specifically designed for Earth observation from orbit, similar to spy satellites but intended for non-military uses such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, map making etc. Most Earth observation satellites carry instruments that should be operated at a relatively low altitude.

In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment.

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For example, the 2002 Prestige oil spill off the northwest coast of Spain was watched carefully by the European ENVISAT, which, though not a weather satellite, flies an instrument which can see changes in the sea surface.

The Prestige oil spill was an oil spill in Galicia caused by the sinking of the oil tanker MV Prestige in 2002.

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El Niño and its effects on weather are monitored daily from satellite images.

El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation and is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, including off the Pacific coast of South America.

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10

The Antarctic ozone hole is mapped from weather satellite data.

Ozone depletion describes two distinct but related phenomena observed since the late 1970s: a steady decline of about four percent in the total amount of ozone in Earth's stratosphere, and a much larger springtime decrease in stratospheric ozone around Earth's polar regions.

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Collectively, weather satellites flown by the U.S., Europe, India, China, Russia, and Japan provide nearly continuous observations for a global weather watch.

Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation, is a federal state in Eurasia.

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