The merchants of doom over at Northrop Grumman released some of the first images from their orbital CERES sensor, as it hovers over the world from NASA’s Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite.

The images look a lot like what I imagine “Predator” saw right before jumping into the jungles to hunt Schwarzenegger and his team. Check them out, really. The images show heat energy radiation around the world, glowing red and blue.

But it’s for science, and it’s happening in space. The CERES instruments work as broadband radiometers, and they measure the reflected sunlight and thermal energy shining off the Earth and its atmosphere.

Scientists are using the data to monitor earth’s temperature, so they can calculate the effect of clouds on global heating and cooling.

Mark Folkman, director, sensor products, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, said in a press release that “Northrop Grumman CERES instruments have a critical role in collecting long-term data records that will help scientists the world over monitor the Earth’s changing climate.”

“The exquisite calibration of the CERES instruments preserves the data continuity that is essential for monitoring the Earth environment over long periods of time,” he said.

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Joshua Philipp is the founder and editor of TechZwn.com. He's also an award-winning journalist at Epoch Times.

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