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2023 Satellite Imagery: A Year in Review

January 3, 2024
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NOAA satellites see our planet from a unique and captivating perspective. Every year, they capture the beauty and wrath of Mother Nature unfolding beneath them—devastating hurricanes, raging wildfires, erupting volcanoes—as well as the changing seasons, ocean color, nighttime lights, and more. The view of NOAA satellites isn’t just limited to Earth; they also capture images of our moon and the sun as we navigate our cosmic journey.

Below is our list of some of the most compelling images—in no particular order—from 2023, as seen from orbit by NOAA’s satellites. 

All of the images are available for download and repurposing, with credit to NOAA.

  1. Weekly analysis of total ozone from September 18-24, 2023, using the NOAA Joint Polar Satellite System's Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite and Cross-track Infrared Sounder. 
  2. A view of the October 14, 2023, annular solar eclipse from NOAA’s GOES-16 Solar Ultraviolet Imager as the moon partially passes across the sun’s disk.
  3. 3A. Composite Fire Temperature imagery from NOAA’s JPSS satellites of wildfires burning across northwestern Canada on September 23, 2023.
    3B. GOES-18 GeoColor/Fire Temperature composite imagery of the wildfires burning across Alberta, Canada, on May 5, 2023. 
  4. Full-disk GeoColor imagery of the shadow from the annular solar eclipse passing across portions of North and South America on October 14, 2023, as seen from NOAA’s GOES-16.
  5. NOAA GOES-16 GeoColor/Geostationary Lightning Mapper composite imagery of Hurricane Idalia approaching Florida on August 30, 2023.
  6. NOAA GOES-16 GeoColor/Geostationary Lightning Mapper composite imagery of severe thunderstorms associated with a derecho that swept across parts of the Midwest on June 29, 2023.
  7. Nighttime Microphysics composite imagery from NOAA’s JPSS satellites of a storm system traversing the North Pole on December 4-6, 2023.
  8. The Day/Night Band on NOAA’s JPSS satellites caught the glow of the aurora borealis around Earth’s northern latitudes on November 7, 2023, after a strong solar storm on November 5.
  9. A time lapse of the movement of  iceberg A23a, as seen from NOAA’s JPSS satellites between November 1-30, 2023.
  10. NOAA’s GOES-16 tracked the movement of iceberg A23a as it drifted through the Southern Ocean between November 13-26, 2023.
  11. Visible imagery of Hurricane Lee spinning in the Atlantic as seen from NOAA’s GOES-16 on September 7, 2023.
  12. Visible imagery of von Kármán vortices spiraling on the leeward side of Guadalupe Island in the Pacific Ocean as seen from NOAA’s GOES-18 satellite.
  13. Australian bushfires burning across Northern Australia in this Day/Night Band composite imagery from the NOAA/NASA Suomi-NPP satellite between October 12-18, 2023.
  14. A coronal mass ejection from the sun as seen from the NOAA’s GOES-16 Solar Ultraviolet Imager on March 7, 2023.
  15. Powerful Hurricane Otis approaching landfall along the west coast of Mexico on October 25, 2023, as seen in Day/Night Band imagery from the NOAA-20 satellite. Note the city lights glowing across the nation as seen from Earth orbit.
  16. NOAA GOES-16 visible/infrared/Geostationary Lightning Mapper composite imagery of severe thunderstorms pushing across Argentina and Uruguay on December 1, 2023.
  17. Aurora borealis captured by NOAA-20’s VIIRS instrument on December 18, 2023.