DENVER (KDVR) — NOAA has released the first images from the GOES-18 satellite after its launch on March 1. The GOES weather-observing satellites are geostationary, meaning they orbit at the same speed the earth revolves, keeping a steady position over one area of the globe.

A GOES-18 full disc GeoColor image, which uses multiple Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) channels to replicate what the human eye would see. (Image courtesy of NASA/NOAA)

This allows for scientists to track weather patterns from large scale storms to micro scale events, like wildfires. Currently, there are two GOES satellites in service, GOES-West (17) over the Pacific Ocean and GOES-East (16) over the Atlantic Ocean.

GOES-18 was launched to replace GOES-17, which is experiencing issues with a main instrument onboard. The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on GOES-17 has an issue with cooling detectors within the imager. This leads to errors within the data and some full images are not complete. Note the error lines in the image below.

The horizontal lines in this image are errors as the sensor is too hot to read the proper infrared channel, but it’s still quantitatively usable. (Image courtesy of NASA/NOAA)

GOES-18’s ABI has 16 different channels with two visible, four near-infrared, and 10 infrared. These numerous channels allows for scientists to get a full picture of the Earth’s atmosphere. All 16 ABI channels can be seen individually below.

The 16 different ABI channels from GOES-18. (Image courtesy of NASA/NOAA)

NASA and NOAA worked quickly to launch GOES-18 as a replacement when a remote fix was not possible on the GOES-17 ABI. Multiple checks still need to be carried out on GOES-18, but it is expected to begin assisting GOES-17 over the summer and fall of 2022. GOES-18 will then take over as GOES-West in early 2023.