GRAND RAPIDS – An astronaut traveling high above the earth on the International Space Station snapped and tweeted and photo of the Grand Rapids metro area. The picture was taken on Thursday from about 300 miles above the surface.
The attached photo was Chris Hadfield from Canada. The picture clearly shows the Grand River as it snakes around the city and the big bend that’s always visible and is indicative of the river as it travels from Lowell, through Comstock Park, and around the city of Grand Rapids.
Notice also all of the white across the surrounding area denoting snow on the ground. The white (or snow) is not as visible on a widespread basis in the immediate city due to all of the concrete, housing, and buildings (structures). “From orbit you can see why they call it Grand Rapids,” remarked the Canadian astronaut.
Looking at satellite pictures are something most people are probably familiar with, especially if they pay any attention at all to weather forecasts. FOX 17 routinely shows satellite pictures (or animations) to help us understand where clouds are located and how (or which way) they’re moving. The only real difference is weather satellites are typically much higher in the sky, usually about 22,000 miles above the surface. The exception is the polar orbiting satellites that move around the earth from pole to pole. They typically are much lower so they can snap photos and grab data at a much higher resolution that their east-west counterparts called geosynchronous satellites.
If you’re interested in following Commander Hadfield on Twitter, here is his information. He’s currently serving as the Flight Engineer on this particular ISS mission. You can also click here to see the recent night satellite photo that he snapped of the Grand Rapids area. For the complete West Michigan forecast simply go to www.fox17online.com/weather. Get a look at our local satellite images, temperatures, radar images, and the 7-day forecast!