The Russian weather satellite Elektro-L, or Электро-Л in Russian, has captured the highest resolution picture of earth ever taken so far from an altitude of 22,500 miles above earth as it sits in a geosynchronous orbit.
Until recently, Russia had to rely on US and European weather satellites for data in order to make weather forecasts for its residents. In January of 2011, Russia launched the Elektro-L weather satellite, giving Russia its own images of science and meteorology.
The camera uses a 121 megapixel camera. The image was produced by overlaying three images in different wavelengths of visible light and one in the infrared, producing the color spectrum observed. The infrared image shows vegetation, which appears orange.
The Russian Federal Space Program financed the satellite which was built by NPO Lavochkin. The satellite also has sensors on board to observe and record data to be used in the understanding of global warming.
In addition to providing weather data for forecasters in Russia, it is capable of providing world-wide data, and works with the global emergency beacon system that can relay COSPAS-SARSAT emergency signals.
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