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CERES Aqua Quick Look Results



Image: Aqua measurements over the Gulf of Mexico

Aqua Measurement over the Gulf of Mexico

NASA's latest Earth Observing System satellite - Aqua - is dedicated to advancing our understanding of Earth's water cycle. Launched on May 4, 2002, Aqua has successfully completed its checkout period and is fully operational. Using multiple instruments, Aqua data and images are crucial toward improving our knowledge of global climate change.

The clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument is one of six on board the Aqua satellite. CERES detects the amount of outgoing heat and reflected sunlight leaving the planet. A detailed understanding of how clouds affect the energy balance is essential for better climate change predictions.

These Aqua images show CERES measurements over the United States and the Gulf of Mexico from October 1, 2002. Visible are Hurricane Lili at the center of the image and tropical storm Kyle located to the upper right. Lili developed into a major category 4 hurricane and made land fall over the coast of Louisiana two days later. Both of these tropical cloud systems have a tendency to cool the Earth by reflecting a large amount of sunlight (white and green areas in the left image) back to space. At the same time, these tropical cloud systems have countering tendency to warm the Earth by reducing the amount of outgoing heat lost to space (blue and white areas in the right image). Without these tropical cloud systems, the Earth would lose a large amount of heat to space as seen by the surrounding clear-sky regions (red and yellow areas in the right image). The key to unlocking the mysteries of climate and climate changes is understanding the Earth's delicate energy balance between reflected sunlight and outgoing heat, and how this balance is affected by the presence of different cloud systems.

Aqua is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, a long-term research effort dedicated to understanding and protecting our home planet. Through the study of Earth, NASA will help provide sound science to policy and economic decision makers so as to better life here, while developing the technologies needed to explore the universe and search for life beyond our home planet.


Image: Aqua measurements over the U.S.

Aqua measurements over the U.S.

NASA TV VIDEO-FILE FOR JULY 29, 2002

ITEM 1 - AQUA/CERES Instrument First Light Images Over the U.S. - GSFC

NASA's latest Earth Observing System (EOS) satellite, Aqua, is dedicated to advancing our understanding of Earth's water cycle. Launched on May 4, Aqua has successfully completed its checkout period and is fully operational. Using multiple instruments, Aqua data and images are crucial toward improving our knowledge of global climate change.

The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument is one of six on board the Aqua satellite. CERES detects the amount of outgoing heat and reflected sunlight leaving the planet. A detailed understanding of how clouds affect the energy balance is essential for better climate change predictions.

These Aqua images show CERES measurements over the United States from June 22, 2002. Clear ocean regions, shown in dark blue on the left image, reflect the least amount of sunlight back to space. Clear land areas, shown in lighter blue, reflect more solar energy. Clouds and snow-covered surfaces, shown in white and green, reflect the greatest amounts of sunlight back to space. Clear warm regions, shown in yellow over much of the western U.S. on the right image, emit the most heat. High, cold clouds, shown in blue and white, significantly reduce the amount of heat lost to space.

Aqua is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, a long-term research effort dedicated to understanding and protecting our home planet. Through the study of Earth, NASA will help to provide sound science to policy and economic decision makers so as to better life here, while developing the technologies needed to explore the universe and search for life beyond our home planet.


Image: Aqua Instrument measurements
Image: Aqua Instrument measurements
Image: Aqua Instrument measurements

Aqua Instrument measurements



These images represent the first 24 hours of high-rate science data collection from the 2 CERES instruments on Aqua. The sensor scan head remained stowed, staring at internal instrument structure which provides a stable source so characteristic noise patterns of the sensors may be quantified. CERES collects 660 samples (abscissa) in a data packet, representing a 6.6 second packet length, the ordinate represents raw digital output of the sensors. A single count is equivalent to roughly 0.5 W/m2 TOA flux. Globally averaged Outgoing Longwave Radiation and reflected Solar radiation values are typically 240 W/m2 and 100 W/m2 respectively. Patterns in the data are correlated with onboard microprocessor activities. There is no measurable difference from identical measurements made during ground calibrations prior to launch.

 
  Image: NASA Logo NASA Official: Dr. Norman Loeb
Page Curator: Edward Kizer
Page Last Modified: 10/16/2017 11:05:18 EST
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