A trip down memory lane…

It’s the beginning of a new year and whilst some might already be busy with starting new resolutions, planning trips and thinking about the months ahead, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2018.


Storm Eleanor as seen from Metop-B

The start of 2018 was marked with extreme weather in many parts of the world, and this continued throughout the year with many weather records broken.

Storm Eleanor caused havoc in Europe bringing with it heavy winds/rain and as a result, caused lots of damage and traffic disruption.

Tropical Cyclone Berguitta in the Indian Ocean

Tropical Cyclone Berguitta was equally as intense, with wind speeds of up to 75 mph and heavy rains causing flooding on the island of Mauritius.


A view of the Sun partially eclipsed by the Moon

Whilst up in space, our satellites are sometimes just in the right place, at the right time. A few minutes before Meteosat-8 entered the shadow of the Earth it happened to catch this partial solar eclipse.

Year of weather 2017

We released our annual compilation of global weather, which gives a unique insight into the weather events from around the world month-by-month.


Lumières d’Afriques exhibition

We were very honoured to host 54 pieces of fantastic art from each of Africa’s 54 nations at our headquarters in Darmstadt. The Lumières d’Afriques exhibition was a very special project, created by African Artists for Development (AAD) and chosen to highlight the development of Africa and illustrate the importance of access to energy.

Some of the talented women working at EUMETSAT

8 March was International Women’s Day and we celebrated by sharing stories from some of the inspiring ladies we have working at EUMETSAT.


Filming taking place at EUMETSAT HQ

We started filming at various locations for the (still running!) joint EUMETSAT and Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) massive open online course (MOOC) on monitoring atmospheric composition. The free, five-week long course is an opportunity to learn more about how we monitor the Earth’s atmosphere and the threats it faces.

Sentinel-3B lifts-off into space

Sentinel-3B successfully launched from Plesetsk, Russia to join its twin Sentinel-3A in orbit. The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission offers marine data users the global and frequent observations they need to monitor and forecast the ocean.


Sentinel-3 model at EUMETSAT HQ

We got a new addition to the EUMETSAT family with this full-size, replica model of Sentinel-3 which is now settled in front of our HQ, ready to greet staff and visitors as they arrive at the building.

Bruno Lucas discussing altimetry data

We released a series of “How to access Copernicus data” videos, including this one from EUMETSAT Altimeter Data Processing Expert, Bruno Lucas. Bruno explains how you can access and work with Sentinel-3 altimetry data.


Clean-up your space competition

We launched this competition in the hope of encouraging young students to not only do something fun and creative, but to also help the planet. Participants were asked to go and explore their surroundings, collect waste and turn their finds into a model satellite or ground station.

Jason-2 satellite

We celebrated a birthday! The Jason-2 satellite has notched up 10 years in orbit and made more than 47,000 trips around the Earth – not bad going.


© Paul Cohn’s shot of the blood moon

In July the moon turned BLOOD red as a result of a total lunar eclipse and was the longest total lunar eclipse of the century.

View over Tokyo from Sentinel-3A

Japan broke records this summer, with temps reaching up to 40°C. Above is the view from Sentinel-3A over the capital Tokyo at the end of July.


Replica Metop model at EUMETSAT HQ

Preparations were underway in Kourou, French Guiana getting Metop-C ready for its November launch, so we had to make sure our real-size replica model was ready for the party! It had a little makeover after receiving some minor weather-related damage.

Metop view over Portugal

Portugal experienced devastating wildfires that scorched acres of forest and destroyed homes. The above Metop satellite image shows a burnt area of land near Lagos and Portimao and the associated smoke drifting southwest over the Atlantic.


Director-General, Alain Ratier speaking at EMSC 2018

In September, we held the annual EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellite Conference (EMSC) in Tallinn, Estonia. This yearly event brings together meteorologists, scientists and researchers from around the world to share their experience and knowledge.

Super-typhoon Mangkhut in the Pacific Ocean

Category 5 super-typhoon Mangkhut was the strongest tropical cyclone at this point of the year. This composite image shows the typhoon over the Pacific Ocean.


View from inside TU Darmstadt

Tickets went on sale and speakers were announced for the TEDx RheinMain event “What’s Your Journey?”, held at the Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt. Seven speakers were invited to tell their inspiring stories to a packed audience.

Paul Counet addresses crowd at Switch to Space

We attended Switch to Space, the first ever space-focused careers event held in Brussels. Paul Counet, Head of Strategy, Communication & International Relations at EUMETSAT talked to young professionals about career opportunities here.


Monika Jones hosting Metop-C launch

We held a spectacular event in Darmstadt for the launch of Metop-C, which successfully took off from Kourou, French Guiana to complete the Metop series that forms the space segment of the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS). Monika Jones moderated the event which included guest speakers from our partner organisations and a very cool #METOPMEETUP!

Attendees of the AtmosHack inside the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki

We spent the weekend in Helsinki to watch 10 teams battle it out and come up with the best idea for solutions to air pollution. We were joined by partners CAMS and organisers Ultrahack at the Finnish Meteorological Institute to see AeroZee take home the first prize, which included entry to the Copernicus Accelerator Programme. Their idea combines a variety of different air pollution data with information on city vegetation health from the Sentinel-2 satellites, helping potential home buyers make informed decisions about where to live in a city based on air pollution levels.


Director-General, Alain Ratier talks on stage at European Space Week

We attended the European Space Week, held at the Palace du Pharo in Marseille, France. This event gave attendees the chance to network & discuss all things space with industry leaders & policy makers. It also marked the start of the Copernicus accelerator bootcamp. Alain Ratier, Director-General at EUMETSAT was in attendance to discuss our activities whilst other members of staff manned an information booth for guests to come and ask questions.


We rounded off the year with some festivities at our HQ in Darmstadt after what was a very busy 2018.

We are very much looking forward to sharing all of our activity in 2019 with you – make sure you follow us on our social media channels where we regularly post what we’re up to.

Happy New Year from all of us!


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Natalie Lunt

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