Science and Exploration

GOES-R Image Of An Orbital Moonrise

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
August 11, 2020
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GOES-R Image Of An Orbital Moonrise
Moonrise On Orbit

Did you know that the GOES satellites use the moon for calibration?
This image from GOES-17 on March 6, 2020, shows the moon rising over the northeast edge of Earth. Both GOES-16 and GOES-17 scan the moon regularly to help calibrate the visible channels on the satellites’ imager. The moon is a very stable and predictable target with no atmosphere.

However, normal processing of the satellite data removes all data beyond the edge of Earth. Special data processing is required to get moon images like this.

Learn more about how satellite data becomes imagery at

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.