These items are designed for the teacher to use in the classroom or
as background reference material. There is also information about programs
that provide training and other
opportunities for educators.
Publication of the NOAA Education Team.
Taking the "Pulse" of the Planet -
To learn more about NOAA's role in Earth Observing Systems, go to the blue text at the bottom of this page.
- NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab- Exciting animations, data visualizations, satellite imagery and other visually stunning datasets of Earth. Updated daily.
NOAA's Satellites -
NOAA operates the nation's system of environmental (weather) satellites
and manages the processing and distribution of the millions of bits of
data and images that these satellites produce daily. The primary
customer of satellite information is NOAA's National Weather Service,
which uses the data to create forecasts for the public, television,
radio, and weather advisory services. There are two types of
satellites: the geostationary operational environmental satellites
(GOES) for short-range warning and "now-casting". Click
here to go to the main NOAA page on geostationary satellites.
Polar-orbiting satellites are used for longer-term forecasting. Click
here to learn more about the polar orbiting satellites.
Both types of satellites are necessary for providing complete global weather monitoring.
Geostationary Satellites GOES satellites provide the kind
of continuous monitoring necessary for intensive data analysis.
They circle the Earth in a geosynchronous orbit, which means they
orbit the equatorial plane of the Earth at a speed matching the
Earth's rotation. This allows them to hover continuously over one
position on the surface. Because they stay above a fixed spot on the
surface, they provide a constant vigil for the atmospheric "triggers"
for severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods,
hail storms, and hurricanes.
Polar Orbiting Satellites The POES satellite system offers
the advantage of daily global coverage, by making nearly polar orbits
roughly 14.1 times daily. Since the number of orbits per day is not
an integer, the sub orbital tracks do not repeat on a daily basis,
although the local solar time of each satellite's passage is
essentially unchanged for any latitude. Currently in orbit we
have a morning and afternoon satellite, which provide global coverage
four times daily. Because of the polar orbiting nature of the POES
series satellites, these satellites are able to collect global data
on a daily basis for a variety of land, ocean, and atmospheric
applications. Data from the POES series supports a broad range of
environmental monitoring applications including weather analysis and
forecasting, climate research and prediction, global sea surface
temperature measurements, atmospheric soundings of temperature and
humidity, ocean dynamics research, volcanic eruption monitoring, forest
fire detection, global vegetation analysis, and search and rescue.
REMOTE SENSING AND SATELLITE IMAGERY
NOAA's Remote Sensing Activities - Remote sensing is the
science of remotely acquiring, processing, interpreting and presenting
spatial data for objects and environmental processes using signals
from a broad range within the electromagnetic spectrum. Remote
sensing instruments are able to produce images of the physical
properties and characteristics of objects without being in physical
contact with them. NOAA's aircraft and satellites are common platforms
from which the NOAA's remote sensing observations are made.
Satellite Meteorology Page - This page has been designed to offer high
quality links to satellite training materials and tutorials, real-time
imagery and animations, as well as GOES status reports.
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- THE SPACE ENVIRONMENT
The Space Environment Center Home Page - We all know that the Sun is
overwhelmingly important to life on Earth, but few of us have been given
a good description of our star and its variations.
Short Topic Papers on Space Environment - Topics: Navigation, Radio
Wave Propagation, Aurora, the Relationship between Kp and the Aurora,
the Ionosphere, and Solar Maximum
A Primer on the Space Environment - It has been realized and appreciated
only in the last few decades that solar activity affects people and
their activities. This site highlights information about the sun and
some of the more important solar features: sunspots, coronal holes,
solar prominences, flares, coronal mass ejections (CME=s), the area
between the sun and the earth, solar effects at earth, aurora, proton
events, and the effects of geomagnetic storms on much of our current
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TAKING THE "PULSE" OF THE PLANET -
Observations are fundamental to describing,
understanding and predicting the Earth's climate system. NOAA gathers, analyzes and archives data from the
oceans, atmosphere and land surfaces from different parts of the globe.
NOAA's Global Observing Platforms
NOAA's mission is to understand and predict the oceans and atmosphere on timescales from minutes
to centuries. To accomplish this goal, NOAA has deployed an array of global sensors that work together
to provide data needed by scientists. These complementary systems, with information about the
global oceans and atmosphere, operate at different altitudes with different instruments and include:
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites - NOAA has two GOES satellites that
monitor the Western Hemisphere and the Pacific Ocean from goestationary orbit 35,800 kilometers
(22,300 miles) above the equator. Because they stay above a fixed spot on the surface, they provide constant
vigil for the atmospheric "triggers" for severe weather conditions like tornadoes, flash floods,
hail storms, and hurricanes. To learn more about
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites and to access real time images, click here.
Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites - NOAA's two operational polar orbiting
satellites scan the entire earth once every six hours from altitudes
of about 850 kilometers (529 miles). Because of their polar orbiting nature, the POES series satellites
are able to collect global data on a daily basis. Data from the POES series supports a broad range of environmental monitoring
applications including weather analysis and forecasting,
volcanic eruption monitoring, forest fire detection, search and rescue, and many
other applications. To see a menu of products from the Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites
Air Platforms - NOAA Aircraft have a rich history of investigating hazardous weather which has led to
better prediction of hurricanes, tornadoes, and winter storms. NOAA is also investigating a new generation of unmanned aeronautical vehicles (UAVs) to provide
accurate vertical soundings of atmospheric conditions and chemical composition to complement the satellite
sensors. To learn more about NOAA aircraft click here.
Surface and Submarine Platforms - NOAA ships have explored the ocean surface and plumbed its depths. NOAA,
along with several other organizations, is now deploying an innovative array of Argo "floats" that descend
several thousand meters into the ocean and then rise again to measure temperature, salinity, and ocean current.
Several years ago, NOAA deployed the TAO/TRITON array of buoys in the tropical Pacific that helped to predict
the El Niño/La Niña cycle. To learn more about the Argo "floats"
click here (this is a not a U.S. Government website. NOAA is not responsible for the content of external internet sites) and to learn about the TAO/TRITON array click here.
Global Observation Methods - A letter-sized poster in pdf format can be found by clicking here.
Where in the World is Tomorrow Now? - To see where it's already tomorrow, click here.
Educational Atmospheric Science-Related Information can be found here. (This is a not a U.S. Government website. NOAA is not responsible for the content of external internet sites).
Satellite-Based Activities and Images based on can be found by clicking here.
You'll need to download Flash Player, which is available at the site.
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Website Owner: NOAA Office of Education,
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
United States Department of Commerce
Last Updated: August 31 , 2006