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Celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2021 with this verdant view of Ireland from space

The NOAA-20 satellite captured this stunning image of Ireland on March 16, 2021, just ahead of St. Patrick's Day. (Image credit: NOAA)

Ireland is already showing off verdant green finery in an image captured from space one day before the island's iconic holiday, St. Patrick's Day.

The new image comes courtesy of a weather satellite that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates, creatively dubbed NOAA-20. The satellite loops from pole to pole more than a dozen times a day, looking down on wherever the planet is experiencing mid-afternoon.

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On Tuesday (March 16), that was Ireland. And with a little luck, NOAA-20 caught the island nearly bare of clouds that otherwise mask the satellite's view. The result is a stunning image of the aptly named "Emerald Isle."

Of course, NOAA-20 isn't just looking for pretty pictures. The satellite carries five instruments that help scientists monitor not just vegetation, but also surface temperatures, clouds, fires, volcanoes and snowfall, according to NOAA.

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

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