Despite only being in orbit a matter of weeks, Sentinel-3A has already delivered some impressive first images. With the thermal-infrared channels now turned on, the satellite completes its set of firsts with a view of ocean features off the coast of Namibia.
Arguably the most comprehensive of all the Copernicus Sentinel missions, Sentinel-3A carries a suite of state-of-the-art instruments to systematically measure the temperature of Earth's oceans, land, ice and atmosphere.
Sentinel-3 measurements like this will be used to monitor and understand large-scale global dynamics and provide critical information for ocean and weather forecasting.
The Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer is particularly sophisticated, measuring energy radiating from Earth's surface in nine spectral bands.
By accurately measuring temperature changes, the radiometer will, for example, make an important contribution to monitoring large-scale events such as El Niño.