While the FY2D animation on SSEC appears to depict a consistent wobble pattern, it only displays images taken every hour within a 7-hour window.  Above is an animated 24-hr compilation of these images.  Although the Figure 8 Pattern is not entirely obvious from this perspective, the push on the N. Pole when the Sun is rising over the Pacific at 18:30 UTC is quite evident, as well as the rebound 12 hours later at 06:30 UTC.  The sudden cloud cover change at 10:30 UTC is due to the animation starting over again, returning to the beginning of the loop. 


STEP 1.  Go to the FY2D 8-image animation on the SSEC website:

STEP 2.  Click on the "Stop" button at the upper left:

STEP 3.  Click on the "Show" button at the upper right:

STEP 4.  A new window appears displaying the frame that was open when the "Stop" button was pressed.  Right click over the image and select the "Save Image As" option.  Change the name of the file to something like "wobble1"to begin an alphanumeric sequence that will identify the chronological placement of the images in the animation and save to your desktop.

STEP 5.  Go back to the SSEC page where the animation is frozen and click on the right arrow button at the upper right.  This will advance the animation to the next frame.  Repeat steps 3 and 4, applying a sequence to the image file names (i.e., wobble2, wobble 3, etc.) and repeat step 5 until you've acquired all the desired images for your animation.

STEP 6.  To create the animation, download GIMP animation software (free download, 25MB) from the following URL:

STEP 7.  Start the GIMP program, select "File" at the upper right click on "Open":

STEP 8.  The "Open Image" window appears.  Click on "desktop in the left hand column which will display all the images you saved in Step 4.  Double click on the first image in your animation sequence (wobble1.jpg in this example):

STEP 9.  You should see something similar to below.  Note the "Layers" dialog box to the right of the image.  This will display each frame of your animation and also allows you to control the animation speed.  The first image in the animation, "wobble1.jpg" is shown in the "Layer" box as "Background" since it is the beginning of the animation.

STEP 10.  To add the next image in the animation (wobble2.jpg in this example), right click to the left side of the image and select "File", and then select the "Open As Layers..." option:

STEP 11.  The "Open Image" window appears again.  Click on the next image in the animation, wobble2.jpg

STEP 12.  Notice that this image is now displayed in the "Layers" dialog box, above the first image shown as "Background".   Repeat step 11 until you have added all the desired images in your animation.  The order in which the images will appear in the animation start at the bottom of the "Layers" dialog box proceed upwards.  use the arrow keys at the bottom of the "Layers dialog box to adjust the order of the images, if necessary.

STEP 13.  The default speed of the animation is 100 milliseconds which is rather fast for displaying this type of animation.  To slow down the animation to a more appropriate viewing speed, right click over one of the frames displayed in the "Layers" dialog box and click on "Edit Layer Attributes":

STEP 14.  The "Edit Layer Attributes" window appears.  Enter "(325ms)" after the file name as shown below.  Repeat this step for every frame of the animation, including the first image, named "Background".

STEP 15.  To view your animation, select "Filters" in the upper Menu bar, then select "Animation" then select "Playback..."

STEP 16.  The Animation Playback window appears.  Press on the Play button to watch your animation.

STEP 17.  When you happy with how the animation looks, click on File at the upper left Menu bar and click on "Save".  The "Export File" box appears.  Select the "merge Visible Layers" option and click on the "Export" button.

STEP 18.  After being exported, the images need to be converted to GIF format.  Click on "File"again and click on "Save As".  The "Save As" box opens.  Click on the "+" symbol next to "Select File Type" within this box, select the "GIF image" option and click "Save".  It is also useful here to rename the file to distinguish it from the individual image files.

STEP 19. The "Export File" box will open again.  Select the "Save as Animation" button and click the "Export" button.

STEP 20.  Now the file is ready to upload.  Note that uploading time will vary depending on the number of images contained in the animation.  Happy posting!

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Comment by SongStar101 on August 3, 2020 at 11:04am

Wow!  Earth Wobble in this animation seems way more severe? Notice the hook of Australia where the circle of clouds form as the movement goes around!  Weather patterns make more sense just seeing this.


Comment by Steve on May 22, 2015 at 12:33am

Scroll about half way down. This Ice map shows an increase and a decrease of ice accumulation in Antarctica, it definitely seems to support a figure 8 wobble as well.

Comment by Poli on August 7, 2014 at 5:26pm

One day later, same:

... the sun moves outside the image, jumps back and then finally moves outside?

Comment by Poli on August 7, 2014 at 5:20pm

A fixed webcam in Italy.
The sun moves outside the image, jumps back and then finally moves outside?

Comment by Howard on July 5, 2012 at 3:51am

Conspicuous irregularities in today's SSEC FY2D animation. (Click on the image to load the animation.)

Comment by Howard on June 7, 2012 at 1:17am

The wobble has grown considerably more pronounced as evidenced by the following FY2D animation recorded earlier today.  Observe the "wiggle effect" that occurs with cloud formations near the top of the globe at UTC 17:16, 18:16 and 19:16.  (Click on the image, may take awhile for the animation to load.)

Comment by Howard on February 12, 2012 at 10:39pm

Thank you, Maxim, for the clear instructions on automatically downloading these images.

Comment by Howard on February 9, 2012 at 6:53pm

Not that I'm aware of, Alison.  Unless you have someone who's willing to assist while you're asleep, the process requires saving the latest image just before you turn in for the evening and waking up less than 7 hours later. 

Comment by Howard on February 9, 2012 at 8:17am

Usually, Alison, but sometimes 2 hours will go by before it updates, skipping one of hourly images in the process.

"Does it update every hour, adding on the new image and dropping off the oldest one?"

Comment by Howard on February 8, 2012 at 1:25am

Thank you, Nancy, for illustrating how the wobble is clearly evident by the sudden change in direction of cloud movements.  For those who wish to study this further, I have appended the main body of the blog to include detailed instructions on how to record these images and create your own animations.

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