A scientist, Yi-Chun (Jean) Chen, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and his colleagues were able to show how open-cell versus closed cell clouds affect the brightness, or albedo, of ship tracks.
Using data from MODIS on-board both Aqua and Terra and from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) on Terra, the team studied the relationship between ship-emitted aerosols and cloud properties. The results suggested that aerosol plumes increased the amount of clouds and albedo in open-cell formation areas; where as, areas with closed-cells were less susceptible to aerosol plumes.
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) is a 15-channel imaging instrument operating on NASA’s Terra satellite. A joint project between the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, ASTER has been acquiring data for 15 years, since March 2000. The archive now contains over 2.8 million scenes; for the majority of them, a stereo pair was collected using nadir and backward telescopes imaging in the NIR wavelength.The majority of users require only a few to a few dozen scenes for their work. Studies have ranged over numerous scientific disciplines, and many practical applications have benefited from ASTER’s unique data. A few researchers have been able to mine the entire ASTER archive, that is now global in extent due to the long duration of the mission. Six examples of global products are described in this contribution:the ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM), the most complete, highest resolution DEM available to all users; the ASTER Emissivity Database (ASTER GED), a global 5-band emissivity map of the land surface; the ASTER Global Urban Area Map (AGURAM), a 15-m resolution database of over 3500 cities;the ASTER Volcano Archive (AVA), an archive of over 1500 active volcanoes; ASTER Geoscience products of the continent of Australia; and the Global Ice Monitoring from Space (GLIMS) project.
Student winners of NASA’s 2014 educational “REEL Science Communication Contest” have completed their follow-on Earth science videos after a month-long workshop with NASA scientists and communication experts.
In May of 2014, NASA Earth science missions at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, selected winners of their second annual video contest for high school students. The student winners each produced two-minute videos that communicate NASA Earth science to engage younger students. Winners were awarded the opportunity to work remotely with NASA experts to create new Earth science videos for NASA outreach.
Throughout July, contest winners Lena Korkeila from Placerville, California; Anna and Geof Olson from Santa Cruz, California; and Heather Forster, Sofia Bialkowski and Suzie Petryk from Huntington, New York, learned about NASA Earth science missions, communication efforts and video production. Working with people from the Terra, Aqua and ICESat-2 Earth science missions and Goddard’s Office of Communications, the students pitched video ideas, wrote their scripts, identified NASA footage and visualizations, found or created accompanying music and recorded their narrations. Read more
Terra is now well into her teenage years, but is by no means setting records for the longest operating satellite. In fact, Terra has only been collecting data half as long as Landsat 5, which set the record for longest operating satellite last year after operating for 28 years and 10 months. Terra has surpassed its intended design life by 8 years, but it is still collecting meaningful data, giving scientists insight into how different systems on Earth effect each other.
Beyond Terra’s contributions to scientific research, it continues to help monitor forest fires, equipping land managing agencies with the ability to track a fire’s progress and identify areas of concern. Terra also continues to witness phytoplankton blooms, monitor changes in ice shelves, witness volcanic eruptions, and track dust, haze and smog as it travels from its source. Terra is improving climate and weather models, helping forecasters make better predictions.
In addition to Terra’s scientific and climate contributions, it continues to showcase how the United States in partnership with other countries, like Japan and Canada, can work together to increase knowledge and gain a better understanding of Earth’s varying climate and the interconnectedness of Earth’s systems. Since Terra’s launch, other satellites such as the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM), expected to launch in 2014, have followed Terra’s lead by partnering with other countries to provide scientist’s with a wide array of information to better understand Earth.
The Rim Fire, near Yosemite National Park, is quickly becoming one of the largest fires in California history. The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, MISR onboard Terra uses its nine sensors pointed in different directions to collect data on how sunlight scatters across Earth. MISR captured the extensive, brown smoke emerging from the fire. This data is helping scientists understand how high these smoke plumes rise, disperse, travel, and ultimately affect air quality in other outlying areas. NPR published an image of the Rim Fire by MISR as it’s image of the week on Sept. 4, 2013. Read more