Earth looks stunning in full view from the NOAA-21 satellite photos

This global mosaic is the first full view of Earth captured by the VIIRS instrument on NOAA’s new NOAA-21 imaging satellite, which launched in November 2022. It shows Earth between Dec. 5 and 6, 2022. (Image credit: NOAA STAR VIIRS Imagery Team)

What can you spot in this latest global picture of Earth? There are crisp turquoise seas around Cuba, an agricultural fire in Northern India and, of course, the rest of our planet as seen in the first full view from NOAA’s latest Earth-observing satellite NOAA-21.

The Earth images that make up this mosaic, and a few closeups, were taken on Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 by an instrument called the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard the satellite, which launched on Nov. 10 from the Vandenberg Space Force Base on Nov. 10. (The spacecraft was previously known as JPSS-2.) VIIRS collects images in both the visible and infrared light spectra, allowing scientists to see details of the Earth’s surface.

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