NASA has a new tool for observing Earth’s climate, with the EMIT instrument aboard the International Space Station (ISS) making its first measurements this week. .
The EMIT instruments arrived at the International Space Station earlier this month and were installed using the station’s robotic arm Candarm2 in a 40-hour operation between July 22 and July 24. The instrument is located on the outside of the space station where it can collect data on Earth.
The instrument took its first measurements at 10:51 p.m. EDT (7:51 p.m. PT) on Wednesday, July 27, as it passed over an area in Western Australia. Understanding what specific specks of dust are made of is important so you can monitor the effects of temperature, because darker dust particles absorb heat, but lighter-colored particles reflect heat, so the temperature effects of dust can depend on their composition, according to Digitartlends.
EMIT takes measurements using an instrument called a spectrophotometer, which can determine the composition of targets by looking at the wavelengths of light they emit. .
With the spectrometer collecting data, engineers will verify that everything is working as expected before the main mission measurements of mineral dust particles begin in August. Extremely arid regions of Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Australia.
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