A New Eye in the Sky
This Thursday, July 5, an Ariane 5 rocket is scheduled to launch from French Guiana. On board is a broadband satellite, EchoStar 17, and MSG 3, a European weather satellite. This isn't exactly a ground-breaking moment, but in searching for great images to feature in Snapshot, it's hard not to have a soft spot for weather imagery. EUMETSAT is the agency that monitors weather for the European countries, and MSG 3 -- short for Meteosat Second Generation -- is part of a family of Earth-observers; the MSGs are geostationary satellites that carry instruments for both weather forecasting and climate studies. The image above was taken by MSG 9, and features a great example of von Karman vortices near the Portuguese island of Madeira. These kinds of formations happen near mountain ranges, which break up layered clouds in the troposphere. You can read more about them here.
Image Copyright 2008 EUMETSAT