Welcome to Hong Kong Observatory's Satellite Image Gallery!
Here, you can find images of significant weather events and interesting phenomena captured by satellites (GMS, NOAA, FY-1 and EOS satellites) over the Asia-Pacific region. The topics include calamities such as typhoons and severe floods, as well as other interesting phenomena such as fog banks and hill fires. Members of the public may recall the 4 direct hits by tropical cyclones in 1999 and the record rainfall of 3,343.0 mm as recently as 1997, with damage amounting to hundreds of million dollars or more. In addition to the purpose of public education, this gallery aims at heightening public awareness towards disaster preparedness.
The images are specially enhanced by the Hong Kong Observatory for your viewing. The enhancement is done by assigning different colours (red, blue or green) to images taken by different frequency channels on the satellite. These images are then suitably combined to bring out features of interest. The resulting composite image is called a 'false colour image'. Please see Notes for the advanced reader.
|Fair weather cumulus along coast of Guangdong
||28 October 2004
||This is a high-resolution image captured by an Earth Observing System (EOS) satellite on 28 October 2004.|
||7 March 2003
||A sharp edge of cloud marking the location of a southward-moving cold front.|
||15 January 2003
||Vortex street appearing downwind of Cheju Island under wintry prevailing winds.|
|Fengyun-1D satellite image
||15 August 2002
||The first Fengyun-1D satellite image received by the Hong Kong Observatory.|
||18 June 2002
||Reflection of sunlight over a relatively calm sea.|
||8 January 2002
||Under the influence of easterly winds, Fohn effect appeared over Luzon, the Philippines.|
||22 October 2001
||Condensation trails (contrails) produced by aircraft. |
|Urban development around the Pearl River Estuary
||15 October 2001
||Extensive urban development witnessed around the Pearl River Estuary areas. |
- GMS-5, which stands for Geostationary Meteorological Satellite 5, is operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency. It is located above the Equator at longitude 140oE, and some 35,800 km away. As it follows the Earth's rotation closely, it is stationary relative to the Earth's surface (hence the name 'geostationary'). This enables it to view, and obtain images of, the same part of the Earth all the time.
- NOAA and FY-1 satellites are polar-orbiting meteorological satellites which are operated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the China Meteorological Administration respectively. They revolve around the Earth along paths roughly passing over the poles. As they move, they obtain images of different parts of the Earth. One to two images are normally received in Hong Kong from each satellite every day. Orbiting at several hundred kilometres aloft, these satellites are closer to the Earth than geostationary ones and thus produce images of higher resolution.
- Terra and Aqua are polar-orbiting satellites of the Earth Observing System (EOS) operated by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). They revolve around the Earth along paths passing over the polar region. As they move, they take pictures of different parts of the Earth. Two images are normally received in Hong Kong from each satellite every day.
Notes for the advanced reader