When NASA decommissioned the GOES-12 on August 16th, the weather satellite had been locked in geostationary orbit around Earth for a little over 12 years, snapping regular photos of the western hemisphere. Here now are a decade's worth of captured images, compressed into a three-minute stop motion masterpiece.


From April 2003 ‚ÄĒ May 2010, GOES-12 served as GOES East, providing "eye in the sky" monitoring for such memorable events as the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season and the series of blizzards during the winter of 2009-2010. After suffering thruster control issues, GOES-12 was taken out of normal service and moved to provide greater coverage of the Southern Hemisphere as the first-ever GOES South. During that time it provided enhanced severe weather monitoring for South America.

This animation shows one image from each day of the satellite's life ‚ÄĒ a total of 3,641 full disk visible images.


Hurricanes, in particular, stand out. Katrina pops up around 45 seconds in, and Sandy makes an appearance at about 2:49. Pretty slick. We recommend pairing this timelapse with this looping animation of the breathing Earth, and this world map of hurricanes documented since 1851 ‚Äď both created by datavisualization guru John Nelson.


[NOAA Visualizations via FYFD]