Satellite Meteorology

By Willetts, Helen | Geographical, March 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Satellite Meteorology


Willetts, Helen, Geographical


What are the different types of weather satellite?

Two types of satellite provide weather data: geostationary and polar-orbiting. Geostationary satellites orbit above the equator at a height of 35,780 kilometres. Their orbits are synchronous with the Earth's rotation and thus 'hang' above the same spot on the ground. Polar-orbiting satellites orbit at a height of 830 kilometres and pass over the Earth from pole to pole. Each orbit takes one hour and 42 minutes, and during this time the Earth turns by about 25[degrees], so the satellite views a different part of the surface with each pass. In the UK, we receive images from two sets of three passes from two satellites, one set during the day, the other at night.

How do the images received differ?

Pictures from geostationary satellites are not very detailed because of the height of the orbit and the oblique angle of view when looking at higher latitudes. Images from polar-orbiting satellites provide more detail for the forecaster; the disadvantage is that they don't provide a constant view.

How long have meteorologists had access to this technology?

The first weather satellite was launched on 1 April 1960, and the subsequent launch of other observing systems has resulted in the creation of an imaging network on a global scale. Geographical coverage is now greatly improved, especially for areas such as the oceans.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Satellite Meteorology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?