Earth, with some MSG added

MSG-3 first image

MSG-3 first image of Earth, acquired on 7 August 2012 by its Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI). Click to download a large image, the detail is stunning.

PR 25 2012 – Today, the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) instrument on MSG-3 captured its first image of the Earth (August 7th). This demonstrates that Europe’s latest geostationary weather satellite, launched on 5 July, is performing well and is on its way to taking over operational service after six months of commissioning.

The European Space Agency (ESA) was responsible for the initial operations after launch (the so-called launch and early orbit phase) of MSG-3 and handed over the satellite to EUMETSAT on 16 July.

The first image is a joint achievement by ESA, EUMETSAT, and the European space industry. For its mandatory programmes, EUMETSAT relies on ESA for the development of new satellites and the procurement of recurrent satellites like MSG-3. This cooperation model has made Europe a world leader in satellite meteorology by making best use of the respective expertise of the two agencies.

About Meteosat Second Generation

MSG is a joint programme undertaken by ESA and EUMETSAT. ESA is responsible for the development of satellites fulfilling user and system requirements defined by EUMETSAT and of the procurement of recurrent satellites on its behalf. ESA also performs the Launch and Early Orbit Phase operations required to place the spacecraft in geostationary orbit, before handing it over to EUMETSAT for exploitation.

EUMETSAT develops all ground systems required to deliver products and services to users and to respond to their evolving needs, procures launch services and operates the full system for the benefit of users.

MSG-3 is the third in a series of four satellites introduced in 2002. These spin-stabilised satellites carry the primary Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager, or SEVIRI. The prime contractor for the MSG satellites is Thales Alenia Space, with the SEVIRI instrument built by Astrium.

SEVIRI delivers enhanced weather coverage over Europe and Africa in order to improve very short range forecasts, in particular for rapidly developing thunder storms or fog. It scans Earth’s surface and atmosphere every 15 minutes in 12 different wavelengths, to track cloud development.

SEVIRI can pick out features as small as a kilometre across in the visible bands, and three kilometres in the infrared.

In addition to its weather-watching mission and collection of climate records, MSG-3 has two secondary payloads.

The Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget sensor measures both the amount of solar energy that is reflected back into space and the infrared energy radiated by the Earth system, to better understand climate processes.

A Search & Rescue transponder will turn the satellite into a relay for distress signals from emergency beacons.
The MSG satellites were built in Cannes, France, by a European industrial team led by Thales Alenia Space, France. More than 50 subcontractors from 13 European countries are involved.

The last of the series, MSG-4, is planned for launch in 2015.

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46 Responses to Earth, with some MSG added

  1. steveta_uk says:

    Bootifull.

    I cannot see any detail in this image that is definitely attributable to humans, though it looks like there’s a large source of smoke in southern Libya – which could be natural. Not even any obvious contrails.

    Anyone else seen something we’ve done?

  2. braddles says:

    A superb image. Unfortunately, being geostationary, this is the only angle it will ever see.

  3. Adam Gallon says:

    Fantastic photo.
    Of course, the challenge for Americans, is “Name the continents”! ;-)

  4. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Wow. It really picks out the greenery. The Okavanga delta in Botswana really stands out.

  5. Ben D. says:

    1 Km pixels is impressive resolution for a global scan, the future appears to be arriving faster these days.

  6. Bloke down the pub says:

    Good to see they can get something right. The European space industry is full of what ifs and maybees, first of which is what if the UK hadn’t scrapped the budget for launchers just at the wrong moment. Maybe this satellite would have gone up on a British rocket and Dan Dare would be on Mars.

  7. David Wright says:

    The Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget sensor sounds like a very handy bit of kit indeed. It should settle quite a few arguments. I wonder how it is calibrated, and whether its results will need to be “adjusted”

  8. Kalle says:

    @steveta_uk: The Aswan Dam with Lake Nasser can bee seen. Definitively attributable to humans.

  9. D.I. says:

    Here is a link to other EUMETSAT Images,
    http://oiswww.eumetsat.org/IPPS/html/latestImages.html

  10. Geoffrey Withnell says:

    steveta_uk

    How about the lakes behind the Nile dams?

  11. Jimmy Haigh says:

    One of the first things it would have seen is a very rare snowfall in Johannesburg. No doubt this event was predicted by the global warmers….

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19163119

  12. Roy Jones says:

    I see the UK is lost under cloud and rain…….again

  13. vukcevic says:

    steveta_uk says:
    August 8, 2012 at 12:12 am
    ————-
    If you zoom onto the same area using Google Earth, it is also visible. It appears to be effect of some kind of a darker sand, possibly due to the surface tar.

  14. Richard111 says:

    Interesting to note the change in cloud cover along the equator between land and sea surfaces.

  15. Ben D. says:

    David Wright
    “I wonder how it is calibrated”

    It’s called ‘ground truthing’. You use the appropriate instruments to measure precisely the relevant variables at chosen points on the ground, and then calibrate/adjust the satellite’s remotely sensed data to match if there is sufficient deviation to warrant it.

  16. Tom in Florida says:

    Adam Gallon says:
    August 8, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Fantastic photo.
    Of course, the challenge for Liberal Americans, is “Name the continents”! ;-)

    Fixed.

  17. ozspeaksup says:

    now whack some desal plants up that top end..and see it go green :-)

  18. Luther Wu says:

    SEVIRI delivers enhanced weather coverage over Europe and Africa in order to improve very short range forecasts
    __________________
    Now all they have to do is avoid any temptation to run collected data through the super computer over at the Met Office.

  19. Ric Werme says:

    Looks like all the Arctic ice melted. :-)

    I forget the highest latitude visible from geosync orbit, but several degrees worth are viewed too obliquely to be useful.

    Adam Gallon says:
    August 8, 2012 at 12:35 am

    > Of course, the challenge for Americans, is “Name the continents”! ;-)

    Hey! It’s not our fault that Europe is stuck to Asia!

  20. Ric Werme says:

    Adam Gallon says:
    August 8, 2012 at 12:35 am

    > Of course, the challenge for Americans, is “Name the continents”! ;-)

    Oh sorry, the better response is “Africa sure looks a lot bigger than Europe.” Perhaps someone can remap the image to a Mercator projection.

  21. John Blake says:

    When you say “MSG” we think Monosodium Glutamate, Earth as a full bowl of Chinese noodles. And why not?

  22. David Schofield says:

    Tasty photo.

  23. elftone says:

    steveta_uk says:
    August 8, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Bootifull.

    I cannot see any detail in this image that is definitely attributable to humans, though it looks like there’s a large source of smoke in southern Libya – which could be natural. Not even any obvious contrails.

    Anyone else seen something we’ve done?

    I think the 1 km resolution might be to blame for that – although a contrail may be several kilometres in length, its width would be too small to be resolved. The same would go for structures, and I think the best we could hope for would be large conurbations appearing as different colours. It’s like we don’t exist, for all of the effect we’re having :).

    Beautiful image, though!

  24. Jared says:

    Love the clouds over Africa. Where there are clouds it’s green. Where there are no clouds it is brown.

  25. dp says:

    Amazing image – the Waw An Namus volcano in Libya stands out like a wind sock. The prevailing winds of north western Africa are clearly painted from there all the way to the mid Atlantic ocean. It looks too like the snows of South Africa are visible. The Great Rift sprawls across the eastern desert like an ugly scar and the shade-loving coffee plantations of Ethiopia lay beneath a cooling cloud layer.

    What an excellent first image.

  26. steveta_uk says:

    “It’s like we don’t exist, for all of the effect we’re having :).”

    I agree. And while there are some features we know are human made, like the Nile dams, and the cities along the Mediterranean coast which are just smudges in the image, if you didn’t know already, could you tell?

  27. Gail Combs says:

    ozspeaksup says:
    August 8, 2012 at 5:04 am

    now whack some desal plants up that top end..and see it go green :-)
    _________________________
    I understand Australia may have some slightly used ones for sale… CHEAP ( /snark)

    Impressive detail. I hope the scientific data gathered does not get messaged and mangled like all the rest of the weather data has.

  28. John F. Hultquist says:

    Note that the Arctic region is mostly cloud covered and not ingesting extra calories and converting them to (sorry) – not absorbing an extra dose of energy because of a lack of ice cover on that very northern ocean.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    “Name the continents” ?

    The first few are: B, C, D, F, G, H, …

    So there!

  29. Steve C says:

    What a beautiful image. I have a deep, dark suspicion that Mrs. Watts set up their camera for them …

    And Roy Jones … you beat me to it! :-D

  30. David Wright says:

    Ben D. says:

    August 8, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Thank you for the information Ben, although since the satellite is presumably measuring radiation at the top of the atmosphere I still don’t see how that can be measured by ground-based instruments. Possibly the sensor was set up my using known absolute values before launch. It will still be tricky to check instrument drift though, and regular calibration checks will be impossible.

  31. eyesonu says:

    Looks like a lot of white cloud cover causing albedo. Nothing to see here, just move along.

  32. Gary Pearse says:

    Check out the snow covering South Africa in the earth image

    http://bing.search.sympatico.ca/?q=Snow%20in%20South%20Africa&mkt=en-ca&setLang=en-CA

    “South African Weather Service records show it has snowed in Johannesburg on only 22 other days in the last 103 years. The last snow fell there in June 2007.

    In Pretoria, the country’s capital, flurries filled the sky during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. It was the first snowfall there since 1968, the weather service said.”

    I didn’t see this on the recent proofs of global warming and extreme weather.

  33. Gary Pearse says:

    The Sahel looks pretty green too, pretty much right up to Lake Chad.

  34. WTF says:

    Wow, where is the sceptism now? Usually whatever climate scientists do, it’s wrong because of worldwide conspiracy spread by universities physics departments and climate research institutes. Surely the only purpose to launch this piece of research equipment into skies was to provide false data about the atmosphere also in future, just for the fun of irritating you who know better. For what I’ve read posts here at WUWT, that is exactly what people are going to argue when the data won’t fit their perspectives. And I’m sorry to tell you, it won’t.

    But I have to agree with you in one thing, it is an amazing picture. What a beautiful planet we live on!

  35. kwinterkorn says:

    Good data is the friend of Science and the enemy of CAGW theory.

    This satellite, provided its data is not “adjusted”, looks promising for those of us who want real science, not Post Normal Science.

  36. eyesonu says:

    Spent a little time playing around on this site :
    http://oiswww.eumetsat.org/IPPS/html/MSG/PRODUCTS/

    There sure is a lot of cloud cover on Planet Earth. Could someone explain to me again that clouds don’t have much effect on the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface?

  37. eyesonu says:

    WTF says:
    August 8, 2012 at 10:27 am
    ========================

    Is your comment a puzzle where we try to determine what you are trying to say? I can’t seem to solve it.

    The part that I understand and agree with: your quote “But I have to agree with you in one thing, it is an amazing picture. What a beautiful planet we live on!”

  38. Ben D. says:

    David Wright
    August 8, 2012 at 8:50 am

    “…since the satellite is presumably measuring radiation at the top of the atmosphere I still don’t see how that can be measured by ground-based instruments.”

    You’re welcome David, …yes, it’s still the same principle so far at atmospheric sounding goes, airplanes equipped with the appropriate instruments measure the relevant parameters at the appropriate altitudes to check against the remotely sensed satellite data for accuracy..

    And yes, the satellite sensors at launch are designed to accurately measure the relevant parameters, but post launch acceptance testing and calibration if necessary is carried out to ensure it meets design specifications.

    And yes again, there most probably will be some sensor drift and other anomalies occurring over the operational life of the spacecraft so these are addressed by recalibration as necessary.

  39. Larry in Texas says:

    Awesome image! The detail is superb, almost like looking at an HDTV image (I know the resolution must be greater than a typical HDTV, but what else can I compare it to?). We need one of these satellites for North and South America.

  40. gymnosperm says:

    WTF says:
    August 8, 2012 at 10:27 am
    ========================

    Nothing against physics or meteorology. You just have to get out more. Look around. Stare in wonder at that image and ponder WTF that thing is in the Indian Ocean off Somalia. Fractals ain’t gonna model that yet. Departmental culture gets dissociated from reality and leads to a condition commonly known as having your head up your maths.

  41. dp says:

    The false color becomes apparent when comparing against other sat imagery. Note, for example, Israel looks brown and dead while the Nile delta is green and lush. In fact both areas have about the same density of green, neither of which are as green as shown.

  42. Rober Doyle says:

    Anthony,

    I recall, possibly wrongly, that you had noted the revenue value to Europe and loss
    for America of being “the standard go to source” for forecasts.

    If the notion was written by Joe Bastardi or other contributor, my apologies up-front.

  43. SteveSadlov says:

    Balancing out the current hot summer in the Eastern 2/3 of the US is the North Atlantic, which is not having a summer at all. Look at the active weather pattern covering the entire thing.

  44. Moggsy says:

    The pic remids me of an old (iconic I guess) NASA still I saw that my dad had. Plus ça change.. as the Europeans say.

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