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 Monitoring lava lake levels in Congo volcano
16.05.2018 | Seismological Society of America

nachricht Ice stream draining Greenland Ice Sheet sensitive to changes over past 45,000 years
14.05.2018 | Oregon State University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>