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On July 7, 2015, the weather satellite Himawari 8 began regular operation, replacing Himawari 7.

Himawari 8 is equipped with a world-leading next-generation weather observation sensor (visible and infrared radiometer). This will improve image resolution as well as increase the number of channels, making it possible to obtain the first color photographs from a geostationary meteorological satellite. This will help meteorologists to observe yellow sands and volcanic smokes that were until now difficult to differentiate from ordinary clouds. Furthermore, the interval at which photographs are taken has also improved, dropping from Himawari 7’s once every 30 seconds to once every 10 seconds, and reducing the interval between photographs of the area around Japan to once every 2.5 minutes.    

Foreign weather satellites launched in the near future will be equipped with the same generation of technology as Himawari 8, and Himawari 8’s trailblazing start has attracted attention all over the world.