Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA satellite flies high to monitor sun’s influence on ozone

15.11.2002


In October, the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) completed the first measurement of the solar ultraviolet radiation spectrum over the duration of an 11 year solar cycle, a period marked by cyclical shifts in the Sun’s activity. This long measurement record by two instruments aboard UARS will give researchers better insight into how fluctuations in the Sun’s energy affect ozone and the Earth’s climate. In turn, the dataset gives scientists tools to document the influence of man-made chemicals on ozone loss.



Though mission success was initially declared only 18 months after its launch in September 1991, UARS has continued to track ozone levels and atmospheric gases that react with ozone. The satellite has now also recorded the Sun’s influence on ozone and other gases over an entire solar cycle.

During the 11-year solar cycle the Sun undergoes periodic changes in activity from the "solar maximum," to a period of quiet called the "solar minimum." During the solar maximum there are many sunspots, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections, which can affect communications and the atmosphere here on Earth.


"Having a complete solar cycle of data provides information necessary to distinguish the natural variations in the Earth’s atmosphere from man-made variations," said Charles Jackman, UARS Project Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

"UARS has lasted so long that we now have an 11 year mission with a single set of observations spanning the entire solar cycle," said Gary Rottman, a senior scientist at the University of Colorado and Principal Investigator for the SOLar Stellar InterComparison Experiment (SOLSTICE) instrument on UARS.

This complete solar cycle UV radiation dataset provides key measurements toward better determination of the roles of natural and man-made influences on ozone.

Also, by observing a full solar cycle, scientists hope to use the additional data to better understand the Sun’s behavior.

Observatories on the Earth have found fewer sunspots in this solar cycle than the last one, but UARS measurements indicate the amount of UV radiation that struck Earth’s atmosphere during each solar maximum was about the same.

"The expected correlation between sunspot activity and UV irradiance over the long term was not found," said Linton Floyd, a researcher working at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, and Project Scientist for the Solar Ultraviolet Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM) instrument on UARS. Floyd hopes that more long-term records will help clear up such mysteries about the Sun.

UARS includes ten instruments designed to understand the radiation, chemistry, and dynamics of the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Of those ten, seven instruments still work.

The SUSIM and SOLSTICE instruments measure UV light from the Sun and provide insights into the relationship between UV radiation and atmospheric ozone. These two instruments were independently calibrated, each providing a check on the other. Another set of instruments measure gases like ozone, methane, water vapor, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in Earth’s atmosphere. The third group measures winds in the stratosphere, mesosphere, and the lower thermosphere and help researchers understand the global movement of gases.

In January 2003, NASA will launch the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite, which will provide further measurements of the Sun. By having an overlap with UARS, NASA will have two satellites making essentially the same measurements simultaneously, thereby providing a "truthing" for comparisons and an even longer term data record, Floyd said.

Krishna Ramanujan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2002/1114uars.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Less radiation in inner Van Allen belt than previously believed
21.03.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

nachricht Mars volcano, Earth's dinosaurs went extinct about the same time
21.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>