GOES-17 is sending back stunning images of the sun. On May 28, 2018, the Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) captured a moderate C2 class solar flare. The flare is seen in the SUVI images as the bright active region in the top left quadrant of the sun. SUVI observes the sun’s atmosphere using six extreme ultraviolet (EUV) channels to gain a complete picture of the temperature structure of the corona. Depending on the size and the trajectory of solar eruptions, the possible effects to near-Earth space and Earth’s magnetosphere can cause geomagnetic storms which disrupt power utilities, communication and navigation systems, and may cause radiation damage to orbiting satellites and the International Space Station. Learn more about SUVI in this feature story.
NOAA Scientist Kossin has released a paper on global slowdown of tropical cyclones. According to the study, tropical cyclones have slowed in both hemispheres and in every ocean basin except the Northern Indian Ocean. But, tropical cyclones have generally slowed more in the Northern Hemisphere, where more of these storms typically occur each year. Was Hurricane Harvey in 2017 just the beginning? Learn more about what is causing tropical cyclones to in this NOAA Satellites Story Map.
The first imagery from NOAA’s GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) made its public debut today. While experts continue to address an issue with the cooling system of the satellite’s imager, new views from GOES-17 show that its ABI is providing beautiful – and useful – imagery of the Western Hemisphere. This imagery was created using two visible bands (blue and red) and one near-infrared “vegetation” band that are functional with the current cooling system performance. Get additional information and see more GOES-17 ABI imagery in this feature story.
NOAA’s GOES-17 satellite has transmitted its first data from the Extreme ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS) space weather monitoring instrument. This plot above shows the first 10 days of the Magnesium Index from GOES-17 EXIS measurements. It shows that solar activity is slightly decreasing during this time period, with no major solar flares. EXIS is able to measure changes in the Magnesium Index with better precision and much higher frequency than for any previous satellite, producing unprecedented information about space weather. Learn more about EXIS and this data in this feature story.
NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) Solar Terrestrial Physics (STP) scientists go far beyond data archiving and stewardship when it comes to GOES-R series space weather instruments and products. STP scientists participated in post-launch calibration of GOES-16’s space weather instruments. They also create space weather products which are used to study and forecast space weather. Learn more in this article from our partners at NCEI.
NOAA’s Tim Schmit has been nominated for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, or “Sammies.” The Sammies highlight excellence in the federal workforce. Tim Schmit has played a big role in the satellite technology that assists regions before, during and even after major weather events. As a NOAA meteorologist, Schmit has spent his 22-year career developing faster and better satellite technology for detecting and monitoring severe weather, including a number of major improvements in the past few years.
Schmit’s work has focused on advancing the imaging technology of the satellites, primarily through the development of the Advanced Baseline Imager aboard NOAA’s GOES-R series of satellites. This technology provides higher-resolution images significantly faster than previous instruments.
The Sammies, known as the “Oscars” of government service, are a highly respected honor with a vigorous selection process. Named for the Partnership for Public Service’s late founder who was inspired by President Kennedy’s call to serve in 1963, these awards align with his vision of a dynamic and innovative federal workforce that meets the needs of the American people.
Check out our world through the eyes of NOAA's satellites in space. NOAA Satellite Maps is a suite of interactive Earth-viewing tools that offer real-time, high-resolution satellite imagery from NOAA’s most advanced geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 75-percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near- or above-normal. There's a 70% likelihood of 10-16 named storms of which 5-9 could become hurricanes, including 1-4 major hurricanes. GOES-16, now operating as NOAA’s GOES East, will play a critical role in forecasting and warning during the upcoming hurricane season. Learn more in the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, released May 24, 2018.
The GOES-R Program is currently addressing a performance issue with the cooling system encountered during commissioning of the GOES-17 Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument. The cooling system is an integral part of the ABI and did not start up properly during the on-orbit checkout.
A team of experts from NOAA, NASA, the ABI contractor team and industry are investigating the issue and pursuing multiple courses of possible corrective actions. The issue affects 13 of the infrared and near-infrared channels on the instrument. At this time, we do not believe that the three channels with the shortest wavelengths, which includes the visible channels, are significantly affected.
NOAA’s operational geostationary constellation -- GOES-16, operating as GOES-East, GOES-15, operating as GOES-West and GOES-14, operating as the on-orbit spare -- is healthy and monitoring weather across the nation each day, so there is no immediate impact from this performance issue.
If efforts to restore the cooling system are unsuccessful, alternative concepts and modes will be considered to maximize the operational utility of the ABI for NOAA's National Weather Service and other customers. An update will be provided as new information becomes available.
The second Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) to ever reach orbit has shared its first images. This initial imagery from NOAA’s recently launched GOES-17 satellite captured a line of severe storms forming over the Plains on May 9, 2018. Experience from the initial GOES East GLM is helping scientists and engineers tune this new instrument, which eventually will extend GLM coverage over most of the Pacific Ocean. Data from GLM helps inform forecasters when a storm is forming, intensifying and becoming more dangerous. Learn more about the first GLM imagery and the instrument in this feature story.
The Space Environment In-Situ Suite (SEISS) instrument on board NOAA's GOES-17 satellite is successfully sending data back to Earth. This plot shows four days of SEISS data from May 4 through May 7, 2018, when the instrument observed electrons and protons associated with a geomagnetic storm. The source of this storm was first detected by NOAA’s DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) satellite on May 5.
Orbiting a million miles from Earth, DSCOVR observed a high-speed stream of solar wind plasma that had escaped from a coronal hole, a cooler and less dense area of the sun. The high-speed plasma plowed through the slow solar wind ahead of it and 'kicked' the Earth’s magnetosphere, a “bubble” that protects us from the solar wind. This 'kick' started a global disturbance in the magnetic field known as a geomagnetic storm. In response, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) issued a G2 (moderate) geomagnetic storm warning on May 6. Geomagnetic storms can disrupt power utilities and communications and navigation systems and may lead to increased levels of radiation in the radiation belts that can damage orbiting satellites and the International Space Station. Radiation belts are regions of enhanced populations of energetic electrons and protons surrounding the Earth.
The GOES-17 SEISS observed the complex response of radiation belt electrons and protons to this geomagnetic storm starting on May 5. The large increase in the levels of electrons triggered a radiation belt alert by SWPC midday on May 6, half a day after the geomagnetic storm alert. Radiation belts are regions of enhanced populations of energetic electrons and protons surrounding the Earth. The five sensors that make up the GOES-17 SEISS instrument have been collecting data continuously since April 24, 2018. SEISS is better able to detect energy fluxes in the magnetosphere than the previous generation of NOAA geostationary satellites. After GOES-17 is commissioned, SEISS will be used by SWPC to issue the radiation belt alerts.
GOES East captured this image of an extremely rare subtropical cyclone in the southeastern Pacific Ocean on May 9, 2018. Located a few hundred miles off the coast of Chile, the hybrid storm shows characteristics of both tropical and extratropical low pressure systems, with a well-defined center of circulation that resembles an eyewall seen in true tropical cyclones.
The southeastern Pacific Ocean is normally not conducive to tropical cyclone development. Sea surface temperatures off the west coast of South America are normally far too cold and the region is located in a semi-permanent high pressure zone, characterized by dry, sinking air. NOAA satellite data show sea surface temperatures at the site of the storm just under 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit). While these temperatures are not usually warm enough for convective activity, the right atmospheric conditions in the vicinity of this storm allowed thunderstorms to form, with wind speeds attaining the strength of a weak tropical storm.
The GOES-R Series Program quarterly newsletter for the time period January – March 2018 is now available. GOES-S lifted off on a picture perfect day right at the opening of the launch window on March 1. The satellite reached geostationary orbit on March 12 and was renamed GOES-17. GOES-17 is now undergoing post-launch testing in preparation for taking over as NOAA’s GOES West operational satellite late this year. View the 1Q 2018 newsletter.
On March 1, 2018, at 5:02 PM ET, NOAA’s GOES-S satellite blasted off into space and soon took its place as GOES-17, the nation’s newest satellite in NOAA’s most advanced geostationary series. The Atlas V rocket that launched the satellite propelled it into orbit 22,000 miles above Earth. Although the young satellite has already traveled far from home, its journey to become a vital component of the United States’ weather forecasting operations is only just beginning. Find out what's next for our newest member of the team in this feature.
On March 22, 2018, the GOES-17 Magnetometer (MAG) became the first instrument on the satellite to begin transmitting data! This figure shows data from the outboard Magnetometer instrument on board the GOES-17 satellite. The data has been filtered to highlight a space weather phenomenon known as plasma waves. These waves play a significant role in controlling the levels of dangerous energetic particles that can cause damage to satellites and harm astronauts. An important characteristic of these waves is how fast they oscillate up and down or their frequency (shown in the bottom panel of the figure). The Magnetometers on the GOES-R Series of satellites, with five times higher resolution, can observe more wave frequencies allowing us to undertake research into new space weather products that help forecasters better determine the likelihood that elevated levels of dangerous energetic particles will occur during space weather events.
On March 12, GOES-S executed its final liquid apogee engine burn, placing the satellite in geostationary orbit 22,236 miles away. GOES-S is now GOES-17! Tomorrow, GOES-17 will perform its second stage solar array deployment, releasing the solar array yoke and solar pointing platform. In the days that follow, several maneuvers will be conducted to put GOES-17 in its 89.5 degrees west longitude checkout position. Learn what’s next for GOES-17 in this feature story.
When the sun flared dramatically last September, causing geomagnetic storms and radio blackouts on Earth, a new NOAA solar telescope captured the drama from a different perspective. Now, NOAA has released these new images to the scientific community. The primary mission for the GOES-R Series Solar Ultraviolet Imager, or SUVI, is to support space weather forecasting operations at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, but its unique properties offer several opportunities for new research. Learn more in this feature from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
After a successful separation from the Centaur upper stage, GOES-S began flying freely. Shortly after, the satellite completed deployment of the Stage 1 solar array that will generate electricity for the spacecraft during its mission. GOES-S is orbiting above the Earth, its systems are in good health and it is operating on its own. Learn more in the NOAA press release.
Booster ignition and liftoff of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 5:02 p.m. EST, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, carrying NOAA’s GOES-S satellite. The rocket is on its way, carrying NOAA’s second in a series of four next-generation weather satellites. About four minutes into flight, a series of key events occurs in rapid succession: Atlas booster engine cutoff, separation of the booster from the Centaur upper stage, ignition of the Centaur main engine for its first of two burns, then jettison of the payload fairing. Follow the GOES-S Blog for updates.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and its GOES-S payload were moved to the launch pad today as preparations continue for Thursday’s launch from Space Launch Complex 41. The Atlas V is in its 541 configuration, which means it has the 5-meter-diameter payload fairing, four solid-fueled boosters and the Centaur upper stage is equipped with a single engine. Liftoff remains on schedule for 5:02 p.m. EST tomorrow. Meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing are predicting an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for liftoff of the Atlas V rocket. On launch day, the primary weather concern is cumulus clouds and strengthening ground winds.
NOAA GOES-S will travel to space aboard a ULA Atlas V 541 expendable launch vehicle, or rocket. The “541” refers to the configuration of the rocket: payload fairing, or nose cone, that covers the satellite is approximately 5 meters in diameter; the four solid rocket boosters that generate extra thrust off the launch pad; and a single engine on the Centaur upper stage. Fully fueled, GOES-S’s Atlas V 541 rocket weighs more than 1 million pounds and is approximately 197 feet tall.
GOES-S and its Atlas V rocket will begin its journey to space when the booster engine and solid rocket boosters ignite and the rocket blasts off. Just under 2 minutes after leaving the launch pad, the rocket’s four solid rocket boosters will complete their burns and be jettisoned while the Atlas booster continues to burn. Approximately 90 seconds later, the payload fairing halves separate and fall back, no longer needed after leaving Earth’s atmosphere. About a minute later, the booster engine will shut down, known as booster engine cutoff (BECO), and the booster and Centaur upper stage separate. With the upper stage now flying free, the main engine will start its first burn. This burn will last for nearly eight minutes before the first main engine cutoff (MECO-1).
After a total of three burns of the Centaur upper stage engine, GOES-S will separate from the upper stage and fly alone in space for the first time! This will occur roughly three and a half hours after liftoff. In the days that follow, GOES-S will perform several instrument deployments and a series of maneuvers to bring the satellite into geostationary orbit. This is scheduled to occur 17 days after launch. Once NOAA GOES-S, now GOES-17, is placed in geostationary orbit, it will undergo a period of checkout and validation, moving to the GOES West operational position in late 2018.
In 2018, NOAA launches the GOES-S satellite, which takes its place in orbit as GOES-17. Working together with GOES-16, the two new geostationary weather satellites will provide constant watch over the United States and the Western Hemisphere from the west coast of Africa all the way to New Zealand, helping monitor severe storms, wildfires, and daily weather patterns.
Managers from NASA, NOAA, U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing and United Launch Alliance gave a unanimous “go” for launch of the GOES-S spacecraft on March 1 at 5:02 p.m. EST on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The decision followed the Launch Readiness Review on February 27 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA, NOAA and United Launch Alliance controllers and engineers conducted a full Mission Dress Rehearsal on February 23 for the launch of the GOES-S spacecraft. The practice is standard for the launch team as it prepares for a mission. Working from consoles in facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the teams ran through the same systems and processes they will use for the actual launch, which is set for March 1 at 5:02 p.m. EST.
At the conclusion of the Flight Readiness Review at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on February 23, senior NASA and contractor managers voted to proceed with processing toward the targeted launch of GOES-S on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 5:02 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 1. A final “go” decision will be made at the GOES-S Launch Readiness Review on February 27.
Working in concert with the recently launched GOES-16, the two new geostationary weather satellites will provide constant watch over the United States and the Western Hemisphere, helping monitor severe storms, wildfires, and daily weather patterns. GOES-S will provide better data coverage over the northeastern Pacific, where many weather systems that affect the western U.S. originate. Greater coverage means that GOES-S will be in an ideal location to monitor weather hazards unique to the western U.S. These include wildfires, coastal fog, and atmospheric river events, when storms from the Pacific dump heavy rain and snow over the western U.S. Better monitoring of these heavy precipitation events will lead to timelier warnings to the public about hazards such as flooding and mudslides.
On March 1, 2018, NOAA’s newest geostationary satellite will launch into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida. GOES-S (which will become GOES-17 once it reaches its final orbit) will significantly enhance weather forecasting capabilities across the western United States, Alaska, and Hawaii and provide critical data and imagery of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean extending all the way to New Zealand. Here are five reasons why GOES-S will be such a game-changer for weather forecasts from California to Alaska and beyond.
NOAA’s GOES-S is scheduled to launch Thursday, March 1, 2018. The launch, as well as the pre-launch mission and science briefings on February 27, will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. At 5:02 p.m. March 1, a two-hour launch window will open, during which GOES-S will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. Launch coverage will begin at 4:30 p.m. Learn more about NASA Television’s coverage of GOES-S launch events.
On February 16, 2018, GOES-S, secured inside its payload fairing, was transported from its processing location at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, to the United Launch Alliance Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. There, the satellite was raised into position atop the Atlas V rocket that will send it into orbit on March 1. View more photos of the lift and mate operation.
GOES-S is now encapsulated inside its payload fairing at the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville, Florida, near NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The payload fairing protects the spacecraft during the ascent through Earth's atmosphere on its way to orbit. GOES-S will soon be moved to Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for mounting atop the Atlas V rocket that will boost the satellite to orbit.
NOAA satellites helped save the lives of 275 people last year! Although NOAA satellites, like GOES-16, are known for weather forecasting, they also play a vital role in assisting in the rescue of those in distress at sea or on land. NOAA satellites are part of the international Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking System, or COSPAS-SARSAT, which uses a network of U.S. and international spacecraft to detect and locate distress signals quickly from emergency beacons aboard aircraft, boats and from handheld PLBs. Learn more about how NOAA satellites help rescue people in distress.
NOAA is one month from launching GOES-S, its newest geostationary weather satellite that will begin providing faster, more accurate data to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, dense fog, and other hazards that threaten the western U.S., Hawaii, and Alaska. More detailed observations will improve marine, aviation forecasts, wildfire detection and more. Read the announcement.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas V first stage for GOES-S has been lifted to the vertical position inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The first stage of the rocket holds the fuel and oxygen tanks that feed the engine for ascent and powers the spacecraft into geostationary orbit. The rocket is being prepared to launch the satellite on March 1, 2018. Additional photos of the Atlas V first stage booster lift to vertical on stand.
As NOAA’s next-generation weather satellites continually improve weather forecasts in the United States and beyond, it’s worth remembering how we got to where we are today. Today marks the 60th anniversary of America’s first successful satellite launch, ushering in a new era of space exploration and scientific discovery. Learn more in this feature story.
The Centaur upper stage, part of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will help launch GOES-S, is in place for prelaunch processing. The Centaur holds theThe Centaur arrived at the Delta Operations Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on January 24, two days after its delivery by ship to nearby Port Canaveral.
Media accreditation is open for the launch of NOAA’s GOES-S satellite on Thursday, March 1, 2018. GOES-S is scheduled to launch at 5:02 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at CCAFS and NASA’s neighboring Kennedy Space Center. International media without U.S. citizenship must apply by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, for access to Kennedy media activities only. U.S. media must apply by 4:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19. Learn more and apply for GOES-S launch media accreditation.
The propellant, including fuel and oxidizer, that will take GOES-S to orbit is now loaded in the spacecraft. The fuel loading process began on January 24 with a checkout of all the equipment, ensuring no leaks and correct flow rates. The team prepared for the hazardous operations by donning SCAPE suits (Self-Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble) that cover their bodies and provide a clean air source, as the fuel and its vapors are toxic. The chemical purity of the hydrazine was first tested for purity then pumped from the storage tank into the spacecraft fuel tank. On January 27, the oxidizer was loaded, following the same process, except that two spacecraft oxidizer tanks were filled. At the end, the spacecraft was weighed and its center of gravity measured.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas V booster and Centaur stage for NOAA’s GOES-S arrived this week at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. A Mariner transport ship delivered the components to the Army Wharf at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.The Atlas V booster was moved to the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center near Space Launch Complex 41; the Centaur was taken to the Delta Operations Center. GOES-S is preparing for a March 1, 2018 launch.
Top officials from NOAA, NASA and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will hold a media teleconference on February 1, 2018, to discuss how NOAA’s GOES-S, the second in a series of next-generation geostationary weather satellites, will help provide faster, more accurate data for tracking lightning, storm systems, wildfires, dense fog and other hazards that threaten the western U.S., Hawaii and Alaska. Learn more in this NOAA media advisory.
Are you passionate about all things space, satellites and social media? Then this is the event for you. Don’t miss this behind the scenes opportunity to snap, post, tweet, and share everything about the launch of NOAA’s GOES-S satellite. Social media users are invited to register to attend the NOAA GOES-S Launch Social on February 28 – March 1, 2018, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. EST on January 29, 2018. Learn more about the GOES-S social and apply for accreditation.
On January 16, 2017, media outlets got an up-close look at NOAA's GOES-S, the second in a series of highly advanced geostationary weather satellites. Currently, the satellite is inside a secured clean room at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. Media had the opportunity to photograph GOES-S and conduct interviews with National Weather Service, GOES-R Series Program, Lockheed Martin and Harris personnel. GOES-S is scheduled to launch March 1, 2018, from Cape Canaveral, Florida,, and will be known as GOES-17 when it reaches final orbit. After an orbital test phase of its six instruments and their data, GOES-17 will be declared operational as the new GOES-West satellite.
Technicians and engineers are preparing NOAA’s GOES-S satellite for encapsulation in its payload fairing inside a clean room at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. After encapsulation, the satellite will be moved to Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. GOES-S is slated for launch on March 1, 2018, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
The GOES-R Series Quarterly Newsletter for the time period October – December 2017 is now available. GOES-16 is now fully operational as NOAA’s GOES-East satellite and forecasters are thrilled. GOES-S was delivered to Kennedy Space Center and is undergoing final preparations for launch on March 1, 2018. We will soon have two game-changing geostationary satellites watching over the Western Hemisphere! View the 4Q 2017 newsletter.
For more than seven years, NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite actively monitored the skies as NOAA’s operational GOES-East satellite, serving as a critical source of information during major weather events, from crippling snowstorms to powerful hurricanes. On January 8, 2018, GOES-13 was turned off, ceding GOES-East observational duties to GOES-16. The satellite will now drift into storage at 60 degrees west longitude, and be available as a backup if needed. As GOES-13 reaches the end of its operational service life, here’s a look back at the satellite’s unique history and its most memorable imagery.
On January 4, 2018, a powerful nor’easter battered coastal areas from Florida to Maine with heavy snow and strong winds. The storm has also been called a ‘bomb cyclone’ because it underwent “bombogenesis” which occurs when a mid-latitude cyclone rapidly intensifies over a short period and see its central pressure drop 24 millibars or more within 24 hours. Storms like this typically bring heavy precipitation, strong winds, and coastal storm surge and are common along the East Coast during the winter months. Learn more about bombogenesis in this NOAA feature and a read a summary of the event including breathtaking GOES-16 imagery in this story from the National Weather Service.