When the first U.S. weather satellite was launched in 1960, the goal was very simple: help forecasters see the general cloud patterns. The images were grainy and the resolution wasn't very good. These days, satellites can see much clearer and much more than just the clouds.

Volcanic eruptions, icebergs, wildfires, flooding, dust storms - these are just a few of the high-profile environmental events being tracked by the Operational Significant Event Imagery team, a group of satellite specialists that work for NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Each day, this team produces high-resolution, colorful, detailed images of important environmental events worldwide by blending satellite information from a variety of sensors on a variety of satellites. Better yet, they put these images on the web. Check them out at

Tomorrow night I'll show you some of their best stuff.

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