Photos: NASA's Rain-Tracking GPM Satellite Mission in Pictures

Extra-Tropical Cyclone Off the Coast of Japan, March 10, 2014

NASA/JAXA

An extra-tropical cyclone seen off the coast of Japan, March 10, 2014, by the GPM Microwave Imager. The colors show the rain rate: red areas indicate heavy rainfall, while yellow and blue indicate less intense rainfall. The upper left blue areas indicate falling snow.

Extra-Tropical Cyclone East of Japan's Honshu Island

NASA/JAXA

On March 10 the Core Observatory passed over an extra-tropical cyclone about 1,055 miles (1,700 km) east of Japan's Honshu Island. Formed when a cold air mass wrapped around a warm air mass near Okinawa on March 8, it moved NE drawing cold air over Japan before weakening over the North Pacific.

3D View Inside a Cyclone

JAXA/NASA

A 3D view inside an extra-tropical cyclone observed off the coast of Japan on March 10, 2014, captured by GPM's Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar. The vertical cross-section, approximately 4.4 miles (7 kilometers) high, shows rain rates, with red areas indicating heavy rainfall while yellow and blue indicate less intense rainfall.

GMI Instrument's 13 Channels

NASA/JAXA

The GMI instrument has 13 channels, each sensitive to different types of precipitation. Channels for heavy rain, mixed rain and snow, and snowfall are displayed of the extra-tropical cyclone observed March 10, off the coast of Japan. Multiple channels capture the full range of precipitation.

Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar

JAXA/NASA

The Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar observes rainfall and snowfall that occurs within clouds in three dimensions, across the surface of Earth and upward into the atmosphere. An extra-tropical cyclone was observed over the northwest Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan on March 10, 2014.

NASA-JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory

NASA

In 2014 for the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth science missions will be launched into space in the same year, opening new and improved remote eyes to monitor our changing planet. The first mission of the year is the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, a joint international project with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The mission inaugurates an unprecedented international satellite constellation that will produce the first nearly global observations of rainfall and snowfall.

Japan Launches NASA's GPM Satellite

NASA/Bill Ingalls

A Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, is seen launching from the Tanegashima Space Center, Feb. 28, 2014, Tanegashima, Japan.

H-IIA Rocket Launches NASA's GPM Satellite

NASA/Bill Ingalls

A Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, is seen launching from the Tanegashima Space Center, Feb. 28, 2014, Tanegashima, Japan.

Blast Off! Japan Launches NASA's GPM Satellite

NASA/Bill Ingalls

A Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, is seen launching from the Tanegashima Space Center, Feb. 28, 2014, Tanegashima, Japan.

Japanese H-IIA Rocket Launches NASA's GPM Satellite

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Flames and smoke from a Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, are seen during the launch from the Tanegashima Space Center, Feb. 28, 2014, Tanegashima, Japan.

Rocket Rolls Out Carrying GPM Core Observatory

NASA/Bill Ingalls

A Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory is seen as it rolls out to launch pad 1 of the Tanegashima Space Center, Feb. 27, 2014, Tanegashima, Japan.

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