US: Raytheon has unveiled a new application called VIIRS that provides a similar functionality to Google Earth with the addition of data from advanced weather satellites. From forest fires to tiny phytoplankton in the world's water, the weather satellites help provide a picture of the state of the Earth. The app provides images in countless combinations of visible light imagery, low-light night-time imagery and concentrations of ocean chlorophyll. By mapping the amount and location of phytoplankton, scientists gain valuable insight into the cyclical evolution of the ocean environment. Using the app, users can sweep over storm patterns emerging above Antarctica or zoom in on fishing fleets lined up off the coast of Japan at night.
This data has, up until now, only been easily accessible to data meteorologists and climatologists who use every day to track the weather and monitor the earth’s environment. All of the data was generated by the Raytheon-built Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer (VIIRS) Suite currently flying aboard the NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) spacecraft. Suomi NPP orbits the Earth approximately 14 times each day, covering virtually the entire surface of the planet in each 24-hour period. Users can change the levels of each dataset by adjusting the bars under tiny globes at the bottom of the screen. They can zoom in by clicking, or get more information by selecting the ‘i’ icon. It’s also proved valuable for disaster monitoring and response teams, who can, for instance, assess the extent of regional power outages using night time images. VIIRS View is currently available for Mac and PC users.
Source: Daily mail