Earth, in Detail

A new European satellite takes its first earth selfie—and it's a framer.

August 05, 2015

Source: ESA

This morning we bring you yet another new image of our planet. This one is the debut shot of the MSG-4 satellite—and it’s a high-resolution beauty. The European Space Agency launched it into geosynchronous orbit last month. That means its orbit matches up with the earth’s rotation, and to those on the ground, MSG-4 seemingly remains fixed over Africa and Europe, where it will monitor weather and climate conditions.

Every 15 minutes, MSG-4 takes a snapshot through one of its 12 color channels, sending the ESA information on weather, ozone, carbon dioxide, water vapor, cloud coverage, and surface temperatures of the land and sea. The image above is a mix of visible and infrared light, and with a resolution of one kilometer, it’s very, very clear (even when it’s cloudy). 

onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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