A satellite instrument that can detect lightning has been continuously enabled across Europe and Africa

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The European Space Agency and Eumetsat today released the first images from the Lightning Imager aboard the first third-generation Meteosat satellite, which will be launched in 2022.

The instrument can continuously detect fast flashes of light in the Earth’s atmosphere, day and night, from a distance of 36,000 km. Each of the four cameras on board can shoot up to 1,000 frames per second. This way you will constantly monitor lightning activity from space. for 84% of the Earth’s surface.

The data from the Lightning Imager will provide weather forecasters with greater confidence in their forecasts of severe storms, especially in remote areas and over oceans where lightning detection capabilities are limited. Which could make a huge difference in the aviation sector, among other things. The data should also help understand the consequences of these types of weather phenomena on climate change.

The data should be available with increased sensitivity in early 2024. The satellite on which the instrument is installed is the first of six satellites that will collect basic space weather data for the next 20 years.

Watch the animation here: Animation MTG Lightning Imager.

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Winton Frazier

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