The GOES-12 satellite sits at 75 degrees west longitude at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers over the equator, in geosynchronous orbit. At this position its Imager instrument takes pictures of cloud patterns in several wavelengths for all of North and South America, a primary measurement used in weather forecasting. The Imager takes a pattern of pictures of parts of the Earth in several wavelengths all day, measurements that are vital in weather forecasting. This animation shows a four-day sequence of GOES-12 images in the longwave infrared wavelengths, from 10.2 to 11.2 microns, during the period that Hurricane Katrina passed through the Gulf of Mexico. This wavelength band is the most common one for observing cloud motions and severe storms throughout the day and night. Since GOES-12 takes images most often over the United States (every 5 to 10 minutes), the motion of the clouds in this close-up of the southeast US is very smooth.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 184.108.40.206.0