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NASA Shares First Space Images from US Pollution-Monitoring.

Today is Saturday, September 23, 2023.

Last August 24, NASA released the first data maps from its new space instrument, which started transmitting information about major air pollutants over North America, from the Atlantic Ocean to Pacific coast and from roughly Mexico City to central Canada.

Launched earlier this year, NASA’s TEMPO - Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution - is the first space-based instrument designed to continuously measure air quality above North America with the resolution of a few square miles, from its orbit 22,000 miles above the equator.

Technology relates to advanced spectrometer that detects pollution normally hidden within reflected sunlight (areas of missing data indicate cloud cover).

The initially reported data focuses on the quality of the air. More specifically, nitrogen dioxide emissions related to the effects of fertilizer application on farmland, to rush-hour traffic, to the movement of ash from volcanoes and smoke forest fires, specially after hundreds of Canada wildfires that have been severely affecting the United States since earlier this year.

According to Kelly Chance, TEMPO's principal investigator and senior physicist from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. “It measures ozone, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, aerosols, water vapor, and several trace gases. There are already almost 50 science studies being planned that are based around this new way to collect data.”

Click here for the press release by NASA and at the image below you will be able to see videos showing how the emissions levels vary during the day. Cases of the cities of New York, Washington, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Los Angeles are highlighted.

For more information on NASA’s Earth science research


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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