Why Space Really Matters: following the Haiyan Super Typhoon

Pic from Washington Post–click to embiggen

The NBCNews.com website posted an article with a few pictures taken from different satellites of the Haiyan Super Typhoon.  And the Washington Post has managed to one-up NBC News with a lot more typhoon images from more satellites.   Such images are helping thousands of people.

There’s a lot of information out there regarding this typhoon, from it’s origin to current and then possible future projected path thanks to the many satellites belonging to many agencies out there taking pictures of it as it grows and moves.  The Philippines received some warning of what was heading their way–and there are reports that over a thousand people were still killed by the typhoon.  Vietnam is reportedly evacuating thousands of its people from the projected impacted area.

A hundred years ago, all those thousands of people would’ve been “dead men walking.”  They would’ve been living life, not really knowing the enormity and deadliness of the storm coming their way.  But thanks to this kind of space technology, the accompanying expertise, and the internet, there’s a way to help give them a chance.  Hopefully things will work out for most of them.

You can see there are plenty of space assets out there looking at this typhoon.  Just look at the black captions right under the image and the name of the satellite that took the image will be there (most of the time).  Sometimes they’ll even list the payload on the satellite that took the image.

It seems to me that taking pictures from space might likely be the safest way to get information about this typhoon.  I certainly wouldn’t want to be in there.

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