NASA's GOLD instrument captures its first image of the Earth
17 September 2018
NASA's Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk, or GOLD, instrument powered on and opened its cover to scan the Earth for the first time, resulting in a "first light" image of the Western Hemisphere in the ultraviolet. GOLD will provide unprecedented global-scale imaging of the temperature and composition at the dynamic boundary between Earth's atmosphere and space.
The instrument was launched from Kourou, French Guiana, on 25 January, 2018, onboard the SES-14 satellite and reached geostationary orbit in June 2018. After checkout of the satellite and communications payload, GOLD commissioning - the period during which the instrument performance is assessed - began on 4 September.
Image credit: LASP/GOLD science team - Shown here is the "first light" image of ultraviolet atomic oxygen emission (135.6 nm wavelength) from the Earth's upper atmosphere captured by NASA's GOLD instrument. The colours correspond to emission brightness, with the strongest shown in red and the weakest in blue.