A New View of Earth
With all our eyes on Mars this week (have you seen the latest images?), it's nice to know something's up there admiring our planet, too. Here's the first image from the newest European weather satellite, MSG-3, which was launched July 5. The geostationary satellite is the third in a planned series of four and carries aboard instruments like SERVI, the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager, that will "scan the Earth's surface and atmosphere every 15 minutes in 12 different wavelengths, to track cloud development" and improve short-range forecasts. MSG-3 will also measure the amount of solar energy reflected from Earth's surface, which aids in studying climate science, and has another instrument that will allow it to be a relay for distress signals.