Launched in July 2004, NASA's Aura satellite program is providing the first-ever direct global measurements of ozone, air quality, and climate change on a daily basis. The project is helping scientists monitor pollution production and transport over thousands of miles across the globe, such as dust and pollution travelling from China to California, and a sulfur dioxide plume erupting from the Manam Volcano in New Guinea. Aura is third in a line of Earth Observing System satellites, following Terra and Aqua, that are designed to study the Earth's land, water, and atmosphere. Aura penetrates deeper into the Earth's atmosphere than previous satellites, reaching the Earth's troposphere that extends from the ground to about 10 km. NASA has designed a program to validate Aura's observations using ground-based, balloon, aircraft, and other satellite measurements. Click here to see a Flash movie about Aura's mission to study climate change.
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