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GOES-11 Satellite Sees Pacific Ocean Basin After Japan Quake

This infrared image from the GOES-11 satellite shows the Pacific Ocean on March 11, 2011 at 1200 UTC (7 a.m. EST/4 a.m. PST). Waves from the powerful 8.9 Richter scale earthquake in Japan created a tsunami that is moving through the Pacific at this time.


Credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project


The GOES-11 satellite captured a stunning image of the Pacific Ocean as tsunami-generated waves move through the ocean basin. The waves were generated from this morning's earthquake near Japan.


At 0546 UTC on March 11 (12:46 a.m. EST/2:46 p.m. local time/Japan) an earthquake with the preliminary magnitude 8.9 occurred near the east coast of Honshu, Japan. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is the agency that provides official earthquake parameters. According to the USGS, the quake was centered near 38.3 North latitude and 142.4 East longitude.


The quake was reported to be the fifth largest earthquake in the 20th and 21st century, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A quake as large or large occurred in the U.S. in 1964, when Anchorage, Alaska was hit from a 9.2 quake on the Richter Scale.


Reports indicate the Japan quake sent a 13-foot tsunami inland on the northern coast of Japan. Reports indicated that buildings were damaged and cars were washed away. The tsunami was expected to affect land areas throughout the Pacific Ocean this morning.


As many as 20 countries were notified of a possible tsunami from the Japan quake. According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center this morning, Hawaii was hit by a wave up to 39 inches (about 1 meter) high. The U.S. West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has issued a warning for the U.S. west coast. For updated information from the National Weather Service's West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center, go to: wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/ .


As the quake-generated waves move through the Pacific Ocean, another satellite captured a view of the Pacific basin. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite called GOES-11 captured an infrared view of Pacific Ocean on March 11, 2011 at 1200 UTC (7 a.m. EST/4 a.m. PST). GOES-11 is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and images are created by NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


A widespread tsunami warning is in effect for Japan, Russia, Taiwan, Yap, Philippines, Marshall Islands, Belau, Midway Islands, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Kosrae, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Johnston Islands, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Howland-Baker, Hawaii, Tuvalu, Palmyra Islands, Vanuatu, Tokelau, Jarvis Island, Wallis-Futuna, Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Fiji, New Caledonia, Tonga, Mexico, Kermadec Islands, French Polynesia, Pitcairn, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Antarctic, Panama, Honduras, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru.


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.


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Uploaded on March 11, 2011