NASA’s latest Earth Observing System satellite, Aqua. Is dedicated to advancing our understanding of Earth’s water cycle. Therefore Launched on May 4, 2002, Aqua has successfully completed its checkout period and is fully operational. Also Using multiple instruments. And Aqua data and images are crucial toward improving our knowledge of global climate change.
The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument is one of six on board the Aqua satellite. Therefore CERES detects the amount of outgoing heat and reflected sunlight leaving the planet. A detailed understanding of how clouds affect the energy balance is essential for better climate change.
These specific Aqua images show CERES measurements over the United States from June 22, 2002. Clear blue ocean regions, shown in dark blue on the left image, reflect the least amount of sunlight back to space. Clear land areas, shown in lighter blue, reflect more solar energy. Clouds and snow-covered surfaces, shown in white and green, reflect the greatest amounts of sunlight back to space. Clear warm regions, shown in yellow over much of the western United States on the right image, emit the most heat. High, cold clouds, shown in blue and white, significantly reduce the amount of heat lost to space.
Image courtesy CERES Science Team, NASA Langley Research Center