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The spectacular first images from NOAA's powerful new GOES-16 satellite were released Monday, providing the most vivid look yet at our hemisphere from a geostationary weather satellite.

"This is such an exciting day for NOAA", said Stephen Volz, the director of NOAA's Satellite and Information Service.

Harris' Advanced Baseline Imager includes within it a high-resolution digital camera that is four times stronger than the cameras that had been in space. The so-called full disk image shows North America and South America and the surrounding oceans with swirling white clouds overhead. It's like "high-definition from the heavens", the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement.

GOES-16 captured this view of the moon as it looked across the surface of Earth on January 15. This allows weather forecasters to make more precise predictions not only for routine weather forecasts, but also for extreme weather events, like hurricanes and tornadoes.

NOAA's GOES-16, situated in geostationary orbit 2,300 miles above Earth, will boost the nation's weather observation network and NOAA's prediction capabilities, leading to more accurate and timely forecasts, watches and warnings.

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GOES-16 can scan the planet five-times faster than current satellites and it has four times greater resolution.

GOES-16 launched in November and is now giving us our first glimpse of the new imagery it will provide.

1 km resolution GOES-13 image focusing in on the state of Colorado, Jan 15, 2017.

GOES-16 marks a major leap in technology for NOAA. There are also instruments created to track lightning activity and solar radiation on the satellite.

As well, here is the new satellite's full, continent-spanning view of North America. It may become the new GOES-East or the new GOES-West satellite. In November it will be operational as either the GOES East or the GOES West. It will be launched in about a year as GOES-17 and will eventually take up a position opposite from the one assigned to GOES-16. Like its predecessors, GOES R was renamed GOES 16 after launch, following NOAA's numerical naming convention.

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Jammeh was given the deadline to relinquish power by 2pm South African time or face an advance by regional forces on the capital. The new president said he favours launching a "truth and reconciliation commission" to investigate possible crimes by Jammeh.