I requested satellite image data (GVAR_IMG) for a project that I am working on from the GOES satellite, but I don't know what format it's in or how to read it. When I open it with a text editor it is hexadecimal. The files are end in .BAND_01, .BAND_02, etc. The website that I requested the data from said that the data is available in different formats: "Data distribution formats available are raw, AREA, NetCDF, GIF, and JPEG." However, I do not see the option for selecting different formats.
The same as scottlittle, but you can use also McIdas V. It also can read nedcdf files and also is a free software. http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/mcidas/software/v/documentation.html
Go to the user preferences. From there you will be able to choose different formats and data options. If you choose netCDF, you will be able to read these filetypes with most map readers. For Python, you can use netCDF4-python.