Captured at 14:09 GMT on 29 February 2016 just two weeks after launch, the first image from the Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite shows the transition from day to night over Svalbard, Norway.
As well as showing the snow-covered archipelago, the image also details Arctic sea ice and some cloud features. The image was taken by the satellite’s Ocean and Land Colour Instrument, which features 21 distinct bands, a resolution of 300 m and a swath width of 1270 km. The instrument’s new eyes on Earth will allow ocean ecosystems to be monitored, support vegetation, crop conditions and inland water monitoring. It will also provide estimates of atmospheric aerosol and clouds, all of which bring significant benefits to society through more informed decision-making.
Sentinel-3A’s instrument package also includes a Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer, a Synthetic Aperture Radar Altimeter and a Microwave Radiometer.