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. Note that most of the images are taken over the United States (about every 5 minutes) with full disk images every 3 hours and several specific images over South America every day. In this animation, new images are placed over old images rather than replacing them, so different parts of the image update at different times as measurements are taken.
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 220.127.116.11.0