The GOES-S weather satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral on Thursday, joining its sibling satellite GOES-R.
Here’s a GIF of it, tweeted by atmospheric scientist Dakota Smith. GOES-R captured its twin bursting through the atmosphere so quickly, you’ll miss it if you blink.
Here’s another view from GOES-R, now known as GOES-16, which operates in the GOES-East position. GOES-S will be known as GOES-17, and will operate in the GOES-West position.
The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites will orbit the Earth at 22,300 miles above the surface, providing weather forecasters with data for almost the entire Western hemisphere.
It’s part of a $10.83 billion upgrade to drastically improve predictions for severe weather, from hurricanes to solar storms. GOES-S is the second of four geostationary satellites to launch between now and 2024.