GOES-T launch, as viewed by GOES-16 and GOES-17
GOES-T was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2138 UTC on 01 March 2022 — and distinct reflectance and/or thermal signatures of the Atlas V rocket launch were evident in 30-second images from all 16 ABI spectral bands of GOES-16 (GOES-East) (above).
One of the more interesting aspects was the long trail of superheated air + water vapor in the wake of the Atlas V booster engines, which could be seen drifting slowly northward in GOES-16 Shortwave Infrared (Band 07, 3.9 µm) and Upper-level Water Vapor (Band 09, 6.2 µm) images (below). The warmest 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared brightness temperature sensed by GOES-16 was 38.78ºC at 2139 UTC.
30-second scan were also available from GOES-17 (GOES-West) — reflectance and/or thermal signatures were also evident in imagery from all 16 of those ABI spectral bands (below). The warmest 3.9 µm Shortwave Infrared brightness temperature sensed by GOES-17 was 38.58ºC at 2139 UTC.
A comparison of “Red” Visible (0.64 µm) images from GOES-17 and GOES-16 is shown below — and as in the 16-band examples above, the images are displayed in the native projection of each satellite (in other words, they are not re-mapped to a common map projection). Due to the much higher oblique viewing angle from GOES-17, parallax made the rocket condensation plume appear much longer (and extend farther to the east).
However, a toggle between GOES-16 and GOES-17 Shortwave Infrared images at 21:38:55 UTC (below) — both displayed in a common map projection — revealed the large eastward displacement of the Atlas V rocket booster engine thermal signature with GOES-17 (the parallax shift magnitude was 35 km).
The Atlas V rocket’s rapid rate of ascent was apparent when looking at the first 1 minute (at 30-second intervals) of GOES-16 True Color RGB images visualized using CSPP GeoSphere (below).
GOES-16 Plume RGB imagery (below) is an effective product that aids in the identification of both the rocket condensation plume and the booster engine thermal signature.
True Color RGB images from GOES-16 (above) and GOES-17 (below) highlighted the rocket condensation plume.
Additional imagery and information on the GOES-T launch can be found on the Satellite Liaison Blog.