'Though all looks peaceful in this image of the big blue marble taken by the GoeS 8 weather satellite, one of two weather satellites designed and built by NASA but operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, statistically the United States has the world's most violent weather. In a typical year, the US will endure some 10,000 violent thunderstorms, 5000 floods, 1000 tornadoes and several hurricanes. Improving weather prediction, therefore, always has been a top priority for meteorologists. Since its launch in 1994, GoeS 8 has become indispensable for imaging clouds and measuring cloud heights?information scientists need for three- dimensional weather models. A companion weather satellite, GoeS 10, was launched in 1997.'
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society