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Satellites

3 minutes

(Describer) Under a round logo of a wave, title: Ocean Today.

(Describer) With computer animation of a turning globe, title: Satellites.

(male narrator) The news shows images of weather from around the United States or the world. You're seeing data from NOAA's environmental satellites. NOAA's environmental satellites provide data from space, to monitor the earth, to analyze coastal waters, relay life-saving emergency beacons, and predict and track tropical storms and hurricanes. NOAA operates two types of satellite systems for the United States-- geostationary satellites and polar-orbiting satellites. Geostationary satellites constantly monitor the Western Hemisphere, from around 22,240 miles above the earth, and polar-orbiting satellites circle the earth and provide global information from 540 miles above the earth.

(Describer) On earth, satellites are built and launched.

Satellites enable us to provide consistent, long-term observations, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. By remotely sensing from their orbits high above the earth, they provide more information than would be possible obtain solely from the surface. Over 90% of the data going into our weather models is from satellites.

(Describer) Different moving images from satellites are shown.

They track fast-breaking storms across Tornado Alley, as well as tropical storms in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Using satellites, NOAA researchers can also more closely study the ocean. Information gathered by these satellites can tell us about ocean bathymetry, sea-surface temperature, coral reefs, and sea and lake ice. Satellites provide other services beyond just imaging the earth. Monitoring conditions in space and solar flares from the sun help us understand how conditions in space affect the earth.

(Describer) Satellite images include solar flares.

Satellites also relay position information from emergency beacons to help save lives when people are in distress on boats, airplanes, or in remote areas. Each year, thousands of people are rescued through SARSAT, Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking.

(Describer) Someone in the ocean is rescued by helicopter.

Scientists also use satellites' data-collection system to relay data from transmitters on the ground to researchers on the field, such as measuring tidal heights, or the migration of whales.

(Describer) A whale's fluke breaks the water's surface.

Monitoring the earth from space helps us understand how the earth works and affects much of our daily lives.

(Describer) Title: Narrator: Mark Atherlay Logos are shown for the Smithsonian and NOAA. Accessibility provided by the US Department of Education.

Accessibility provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

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NOAA's environmental satellites provide data from space to monitor Earth to analyze coastal waters, relay life-saving emergency beacons, and predict and track tropical storms and hurricanes. NOAA operates three types of satellite systems for the United States: polar-orbiting satellites, geostationary satellites, and deep space satellites. Polar-orbiting satellites circle Earth and provide global information from 540 miles above Earth. Geostationary satellites constantly monitor the Western Hemisphere from around 22,240 miles above Earth. The deep space satellites orbit one million miles from Earth, providing space weather alerts and forecasts while also monitoring the amounts of solar energy absorbed by Earth every day.

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