The jig-saw puzzles pictures show some of the events that have a big impact on our everyday lives—like volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms, fires, lightning, floods, even storms on the Sun. What these events all have in common is that the next group of GOES satellites will tell us much more about them, and sooner than we can find out now. For example, the new GOES-R (for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, series R) satellites will provide earlier and more accurate location warnings of tornados. The first GOES-R launch is planned for early 2016.
For almost 40 years, weather satellites stationed high above Earth’s equator have been sending us images and data on Earth’s atmosphere and solar activity (space weather). These images and data become even more valuable when they are processed by computers into data products that tell researchers and forecasters everything from the temperature of the ocean’s surface to the location and extent of forest fires. Put the event jig-saw puzzles together, and read about what the GOES-R series satellites will be able to tell us about them.
Or, look at the pictures and read the text without doing the puzzles.