Interpreting Satellite Infrared Images.

All objects emit electromagnetic radiation. The infrared radiometers on satellites measure radiation with wavelengths of 11 micrometers. For easy interpretation, the radiant energy measured by infrared radiometers is converted to a temperature.

Cold objects are white and hot surfaces appear black.

Time sequences of infrared images are animated and shown on television news stations. Here is an interactive exercise that demonstrates the relation between cloud altitude and what is viewed by the satellite. You can use this module to help you interpret the satellite images you see during television broadcasts.

Don't be fooled by infrared imagery.

Latest GOES-East IR image.

Latest GOES-West IR image.

The Verner E. Suomi Virtual Museum development funded in part by the National Science Foundation Grant #EAR9809458.  Material presented is Copyrighted (C) 1999 by Steve Ackerman and Tom Whittaker.  If you have questions or comments, please let us know!