Posted on | April 1, 2010 | No Comments
Fifty years ago today, the world’s first weather satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Not even a blown April Fools rain forecast for Los Angeles can suppress the jubilation at NOAA, which adds: “The first image from the satellite, known as TIROS-1 (Television Infrared Observation Satellite), was a fuzzy picture of thick bands and clusters of clouds over the United States. An image captured a few days later revealed a typhoon about a 1,000 miles east of Australia.”
TIROS-1, (NASA photo left) a polar-orbiting satellite that lasted 78 days, weighed 270 pounds and carried two cameras and two video recorders.
Below, as contrast, is a March 2010 NASA satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Paul, posted today at NASA’s Earth Observatory. This was taken by the Aqua satellite, launched in May 2002 as part of a project to better understand the Earth’s water cycle. Single click on the cyclone image to enlarge it.
This post has been updated. The Aqua image of Tropical Cyclone Paul was uploaded.