Illustration for article titled A view of Earth on Christmas morning, as seen from space

It's Christmas morning, and you probably have the day off — but NASA satellites are still hard at work; this just-released image gives a view of the planet's weather this morning as it was seen by the Agency's GOES East satellite.

Cosmic Log's Alan Boyle explains:

The GOES satellites, East and West, are in geostationary orbits 22,300 miles above Earth. That allows them to monitor a whole hemisphere's weather 24/7 from a fixed position above the the planet. (GOES stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite.) NASA takes the GOES satellites' readings on cloud cover and overlays them on a full-disk "Blue Planet" view of the oceans and land masses. The result is a hemisphere-wide snapshot of Earth like this one, produced every three hours.


Pretty picturesque, as always. Although that major storm system — shown here churning its way across the U.S. — could be a serious problem for holiday travelers throughout the country's central, southern, and northeast regions in the days ahead.

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