Nasa has unveiled the first images from its new instrument that is helping forecasters detect dangerous weather.
The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) is observing our planet with a view of the equator from around 22,300 miles onboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) GOES-16 satellite.
It is the first lightning detector in a geostationary orbit and is transmitting data that has never been accessible to weather forecasters before.
The mapper spots lightning flashes in the western hemisphere, letting forecasters know a storm is brewing. Rapid increases of lightning signify the storm is growing in strength, potentially producing dangerous weather conditions.
As well as heavy thunderstorms and floods, the GLM can help anticipate dry regions that may be prone to wildfires sparked by lightning.
The lightning detections will also help ship and plane operators support safe navigation, and can also catch in-cloud lightning which could cause deadly cloud-to-ground strikes.