Take a deep breath. On Earth the air is easy to take for granted. It’s everywhere. But if you take a rocket into space the Earth’s atmosphere falls away. Astronauts understand this at an instinctive level. Unlike just about every other career in the world, astronauts must bring their own atmosphere to work. It is this essential nature about the atmosphere that generated such high expectations for NASA’s Aura satellite. Launched in July of 2004, this powerful research platform is already providing the first-ever daily, direct global measurements of low altitude or tropospheric ozone and many other pollutants that affect our air quality. Moreover, Aura delivers its results with unprecedented clarity over a region. The instruments onboard will help scientists monitor pollution production and transport around the world.
Measurements taken from the satellite also offer the potential for new insights into how climate changes influence the recovery of the stratospheric or upper ozone layer, the protective region that shields the Earth from ultra-violet radiation. "Data from NASA missions like Aura are a valuable national asset," said Phil DeCola, Aura Program Scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington DC. " For example, clean air is a vital need, and air quality is not merely a local issue.
Lynn Chandler | EurekAlert!
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Enormous dome in central Andes driven by huge magma body beneath it
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Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
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