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PHOTOS: NOAA unveils 1st stunning images from GOES-16 satellite

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the first high-resolution images that were sent from its newly-launched GOES-16, formerly GOES-R, satellite on Monday.

GOES-16 was launched Nov. 19 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Called a "game changer" by NOAA, the $1.2 billion satellite will help revolutionize weather forecasting in many ways, including sending back data faster and generating images in higher resolution that will lead to more accurate forecasts.

The photos provides by GOES-16 have an image resolution four times greater than the existing GOES satellites.

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This composite color full-disk visible image is from 1:07 p.m. EDT on Jan. 15, 2017. The image shows North and South America and the surrounding oceans. (Photo/NOAA/NASA)


More accurate forecasts will allow forecasters to give more advanced warnings when dealing with severe weather or tropical systems.

"These images come from the most sophisticated technology ever flown in space to predict severe weather on Earth," said Stephen Volz, director of NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. "The fantastically rich images provide us with our first glimpse of the impact GOES-16 will have on developing life-saving forecasts.”

Situated in orbit about 23,000 miles above Earth, GOES-16 can provide a full image of Earth every 15 minutes and one of the continental U.S. every five minutes.