Europe’s newest weather satellite has just beamed back its first images of our planet, and they don’t disappoint. The Meteosat Third Generation Imager has revealed incredibly detailed views of Europe, Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. The satellite was a joint project by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Eumetsat and was launched in December 2022.
The image was captured by the satellite’s Flexible Combined Imager on March 18, 2023. It shows much of Northern and Western Europe and Scandinavia blanketed in clouds, with relatively clear skies over Italy and the Western Balkans.
“This image represents not just what can be achieved through European expertise but our determination to ensure the benefits of new technology are felt by communities in Europe and beyond,” said ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Simonetta Cheli.
The third generation of satellites produced much more detailed imagery than the previous generation. It takes images at a much higher resolution and at greater frequency, creating images every 10 minutes of the entire Earth.
The new image shows much greater detail in the cloud structures than previous generations could have, particularly in the higher latitudes. This will enable weather predictions and forecasts to be more accurate, especially when it comes to predicting extreme weather events.
“The high-resolution and frequent repeat cycle of the Flexible Combined Imager will greatly help the World Meteorological Organization community to improve forecasts of severe weather, long-term climate monitoring, marine applications, and agricultural meteorology, and will make an important contribution to the Early Warnings For All(opens in new tab) Initiative, in particular on the African continent,” Head of the World Meteorological Organization Space Systems and Utilization Division, WMO, Natalia Donoho, said in the statement.
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