Come on, Irene

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Aug. 24 2011 1:45 PM

Come on, Irene

The first full-fledged hurricane of the 2011 season, Irene, is bearing down on the US east coast. NASA has been posting amazing images and video, including this full-frame picture of the Earth showing Irene from August 24 at 11:45 UTC:

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  


[Click to enterrenate, or grab a huge 3000x3000 pixel version).]

This was taken by the NASA/NOAA GOES 13 satellite, and Irene's presence in the Bahamas is pretty obvious. As I write this it has maximum sustained winds of 190 km/hr (120 mph) and has a decent chance of bringing lots of rain to the east coast.

The utility of satellite images like this is pretty obvious. Long before we had eyes in the sky, we had to rely on airplanes for information, and that was incomplete to say the least. Now we can see precisely where the storms are, and use that to feed computer models to make them more accurate.

This kind of stuff saves lives, not to mention a lot of money (if you know a storm will miss you, you don't have to shut down your shop, for example... now multiply that by a few thousand or million). It's one of the huge advantages in being a space-faring species.

Image credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project. Tip o' the poncho to NASA_GoddardPix on Twitter.

Related posts:



Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The Simpsons World App Is Here, and Nearly Perfect


“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.


The Right to Run

If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 2:05 PM Paul Farmer Says Up to Ninety Percent of Those Infected Should Survive Ebola. Is He Right?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Oct. 22 2014 4:45 PM Welcome to 13th Grade! Several Oregon high schools are offering a fifth year of high school. Every district should consider it.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.