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Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Into the eye of the hurricane
Hurricane Elida (European Space Agency)
The Baja Peninsula is visible beneath the cloud Image: European Space Agency.
Hurricane Elida sweeps across the Mexican coast.

Wind gusts reached speeds of over 200 km/hour as the hurricane tracked west, south of the Baja Peninsula.

The dramatic image was captured by Europe's flagship Earth-observation satellite, Envisat, a few days ago.

It is the first time the satellite's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (Meris) has seen such an event.

Planet health check

The instrument is designed to monitor the health of the oceans.

It will provide data on ocean biology, water quality, and cloud by measuring radiation in 15 frequency bands.

Envisat facts
The size of a bus
8.2 tonnes in weight
Circles the Earth every 100 minutes from 800 km up
Built at cost of 2.3bn euros (1.4bn)
Meris is one of 10 scientific instruments on board Envisat.

The satellite was launched five months ago from Kourou, French Guiana.

Elida has now been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Weather forecasters expect it to disappear in the next few days.

See also:

28 Mar 02 | Science/Nature
01 Mar 02 | Science/Nature
01 Mar 02 | Science/Nature
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