Thursday, January 02, 2020

Smoking New Zealand

Yesterday the residents of South Island, New Zealand woke to a new decade. They also woke to the smoke of the Australian bushfires. Smoke from the apocalyptic bushfires in Australia has now blown across the Tasman Sea as far as New Zealand. That is a distance of over 2,000 miles. It is roughly the distance from New York to Dallas or from the UK to Romania.

The smoke can be seen drifting across the Tasman Sea on satellite imagery from Japan's Himawari-8 satellite. You can explore this satellite imagery for yourself on Zoom Earth. Zoom Earth displays near real-time and historical satellite images from both NOAA's GOES satellites and Himawari 8. The Zoom Earth map includes a date control which enables you to view imagery for any day or time.

Another good source for near real-time and historical satellite imagery is the RAMMB/CIRA Slider website. This tool allows you to create animated GIF's from satellite imagery from GOES-16 and Himawari-8. The slider uses the latest available imagery from both satellites to allow you to create small animated movies of the Earth.

GOES-16 is in geostationary orbit over the Earth’s Western Hemisphere. It therefore provides great satellite imagery of the Americas. Himawari-8 is in geostationary orbit at 140.7 degrees East. It provides near real-time imagery of Australia, New Zealand, Japan and eastern China.

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