Andrew Revkin, the leading climate reporter of our time, turns out not to have just a phenomenal (and huge) blog, the justly famous Dot Earth on the New York Times, but also a more informal and visual tumblr, Revkin.net, with which yours truly has fallen instantly in love.
From that tumblr, here's a terrific pic of the successful launch of an exciting new satellite with a very dull name, the National Preparatory Project.
Scientific American and Space.com report:
"NPP — which stands for National polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system Preparatory Project — is the first probe ever designed to collect data for both short-term weather forecasting and long-term climate monitoring, researchers have said.
The spacecraft will measure more than 30 climate variables from its perch 512 miles (824 kilometers) above the Earth. Scientists will also use NPP to monitor natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions, wildfires and floods.
NPP will also test out technologies for an even more advanced line of Earth-observing satellites, known as the Joint Polar Satellite System, which should start coming online in 2016 or 2017.
"We look forward to many, many years of great advancements of science and improvements of forecasts from the NPP mission," said Michael Freilich, director of NASA's Earth Science Division. "The measurements from NPP will be affecting everyone in this nation, and indeed perhaps in the world."