NOAA -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)

News & Articles Archive

The three men behind the successful launch of Explorer 1 on January 31, 1958:  Dr. William H. Pickering (left), Dr. James A. van Allen (center) and Dr. Wernher von Braun (right). (Credit: NASA)
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. 
Space Junk Graphic Illustration
Yes it does! On average, a total of between 200-400 tracked objects enter Earth’s atmosphere every year. That’s about one every day! Thankfully human populations are rarely affected by things falling from the sky (from outer space). This is largely a numbers game. Human populations live on a small percentage of the Earth’s total surface area. So any objects that do not burn up and disintegrate upon atmosphere re-entry are likely to fall into the ocean (which covers over 70% of the surface of the Earth) or a sparsely populated land area.
GOES-13 views Hurricane Gonzalo in the Caribbean and active weather across the western and central North Atlantic on October 14, 2014.
For more than seven years, NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite has been actively monitoring the skies over the Western Hemisphere, serving as a critical source of information during major U.S. weather events, from crippling snowstorms to powerful hurricanes. Here’s a look back at the satellite’s unique history and its most memorable imagery.
Hurricane Sandy Intensifying in the Caribbean Before Tracking Up the East Coast
Makes way for next generation of weather imagery! NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite has captured some of the most notorious weather events in recent U.S. history – from paralyzing blizzards in the Northeast and Midwest, to destructive hurricanes like Sandy in 2012 and last summer’s historic run of Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria.
NOAA Satellite Illustration
Every year at midnight on December 31st, the mathematical and mysterious converge as we witness a new year begin! It’s a pretty exciting event here on Earth, and thinking about time and space has us wondering: how many New Year's Eve celebrations will our satellites in the sky capture this year? We know that NOAA-20, our most advanced polar-orbiting weather satellite, makes 14 rotations around the globe each day, scanning every location on Earth at least twice in 24 hours. We also know our geostationary satellite NOAA GOES-16, now in the operational GOES East location, maintains watch over the Western Hemisphere. So, let’s start the calculations!
GOES-16 Launch
As the Earth completes its 2017 journey around the Sun, NOAA's fleet of satellites had an amazing view along the way. This year, the NOAA Satellite and Information Services (NESDIS) team championed its commitment to provide data that matters to the American people, and helped create a Weather-Ready Nation. Here’s a look back at some of our proudest moments from the past year.
Satellite imagery of sea surface temperature anomalies, October 2017.
p { width:900px; } The ocean is home to critical coral reef ecosystems that provide a home to millions of plant, fish and marine animal species. Coral reefs are often called the “rainforests of the sea”. They are some of the most biodiverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. They account for just 0.1% of the ocean, but are home to a quarter of all marine species. Around the globe, some of the corals which provide the base of these fragile habitats are dying. When water temperatures rise above normal levels for too long, corals expel algae that live in their tissue and their white skeleton is exposed. This bleaching process leaves coral vulnerable and stressed which can result in death. The reefs are also threatened by human activities including pollution, unsustainable fishing practices, and global climate change. 
An Image Illustration of the GOES-R Satellite
NOAA GOES-16, the newest and most advanced geostationary weather satellite, will begin moving into its operational orbit on November 30 - just over a year after it was first launched. After a three-week transition period known as "drift", NOAA GOES-16 will replace NOAA GOES-13 as the primary satellite monitoring the skies over the Western Hemisphere. Here is everything you need to know about GOES-16's journey to its new orbital position.
NOAA JPSS-1 Swath Width Illustration
p { width:900px; } NOAA satellites have the capability to provide astounding views of the Earth. But many people want to know if these satellites can see their house, or even through their roofs and walls to the people inside.