Spot on Science: NASA’s new weather satellite


Our future forecast is looking bright and clear!
That’s because the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just launched a game-changing new weather satellite.
It’s called the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R, but, thankfully, it has a nickname: GOES-R.

It hitched a ride to space on one of NASA’s rockets a couple weeks ago – and, once it’s operational, it’ll monitor the weather here on earth in near real time – and its data will be more advanced than ever before, allowing meteorologists to zoom in to see greater detail so they catch severe weather sooner.

GOES-R is also tricked out with a Geostationary Lightning Mapper – that means it can see lightning from space – even if the lightning is hiding in clouds. Because lightning is usually a sign of a tornado, GOES-R will be able to predict tornados well before they strike.

But don’t think our friend GOES-R is just interested in Earth – this satellite will also be measuring space weather – that’s right, space has weather too – it mostly comes from the sun. Explosions on the sun’s surface can cause solar storms. They’re not usually a threat to us, but they’re definitely a threat to the satellites we rely on for communication. GOES-R monitors flare-ups on the sun to keep our satellites safe.

So look up and wave at our newest weather satellite – it’s up there keeping an eye on things, so we stay safe.

Instructional Links

Website Article: NASA, GOES-R Weather Satellite Ready For Launch

Interactive Maps: NASA Earth Science Office, Interactive Global Geostationary Weather Satellite Images

Video: PBSKids, SciGirls, Sky Girls

Online Reference Book: Science Online, Weather Satellite

Support Provided By

More Wcpn Schedule
More Wclv Schedule
90.3 WCPN
WCLV Classical 104.9
NPR Hourly Newscast
The Latest News and Headlines from NPR
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.
This text will be replaced with a player.