NASA’s new mineral dust detector ready for launch

As shown in this figure, NASA’s EMIT will be connected to Express Logistics Carrier 1, the International Space Station platform that supports external scientific equipment. This mission helps scientists better understand the role of airborne dust in heating and cooling the atmosphere. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Each year, strong winds carry more than a billion tonnes, or mineral dust, carrying the weight of 10,000 aircraft carriers from the Earth’s deserts and other arid regions into the atmosphere. Scientists know that dust affects the environment and climate, but enough to determine in detail what those effects will be in the future, or what they will do in the future. There is no data. At least not yet.

NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Survey (EMIT) set to be launched on the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station at 8:44 pm EDT (5:44 pm PDT) on Thursday, July 14 ) Equipment helps fill these knowledge gaps. Developed by the Agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, EMIT’s state-of-the-art imaging spectrometer collects over 1 billion dust source composition measurements worldwide over the course of a year. Deepen scientists’ understanding of the effects of dust throughout the Earth’s system.

Live broadcasts from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida will be broadcast on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the institution’s website. The pre-launch event on Wednesday, July 13th will include the 2:00 pm EDT (11:00 am PDT). climate A conversation between NASA Chief Scientist and Climate Advisor Kate Calvin and JPL’s EMIT Principal Investigator Robert Green on NASA TV.

NASA’s EMIT mission uses image spectroscopic technology developed at JPL to map the surface composition of minerals in the Earth’s dust-producing regions, allowing climate scientists to repel airborne dust particles in the heating and cooling of the planet’s atmosphere. Helps you better understand the impact. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Here are five things you need to know about EMIT:

1. Identify the composition of mineral dust from the arid regions of the globe.

Desert areas produce most of the mineral dust released into the atmosphere. Also, because they are so far apart, it is difficult for scientists to manually collect soil and dust samples from these vast areas.

From that perch Space station, EMIT maps the world’s mineral dust source regions. Imaging spectrometers are also the first worldwide to provide information on the color and composition of dust sources. This data helps scientists understand the types of dust that dominate each region and better understand the impact of dust on current and future climate and the Earth’s system.

2. It reveals whether mineral dust heats or cools the planet.

Scientists now do not know if mineral dust has a cumulative heating or cooling effect on the Earth.that is Dust particles It has various characteristics in the atmosphere. For example, some particles may be dark red and others may be white.

Color is important because it determines whether dust absorbs the energy of the sun like dark minerals or reflects it like light minerals. If much of the dust absorbs the energy of the sun rather than reflects it, it warms the planet and vice versa.

EMIT provides detailed images of how much dust is generated from dark and bright minerals. With that information, scientists can determine whether the dust heats or cools the entire planet, as well as locally and locally.

3. It helps scientists understand how dust affects various earth processes.

Mineral dust particles are made of different substances and therefore have different colors. Dark red mineral dust gets its color from iron, for example. The composition of dust particles affects how they interact with many of the Earth’s natural processes.

For example, mineral dust plays a role in cloud formation and atmospheric chemistry. When mineral dust accumulates in the ocean or forest, it can act like fertilizer and provide nutrients for growth. When falling on snow or ice, the dust melts and accelerates, increasing the outflow of water. And for humans, mineral dust can be harmful to health when inhaled.

EMIT collects information on 10 important dust types, including iron oxides, clays and carbonates. This data will enable scientists to accurately assess how mineral dust affects different ecosystems and processes.

NASA's new mineral dust detector ready for launch

Dust eruptions spread to the eastern Mediterranean coast, covering parts of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. The June 2020 image was cropped and enhanced to improve contrast and the lens artifacts were removed. NASA’s EMIT mission helps scientists better understand how dust in the air affects climate. Credit: NASA

4. The data will improve the accuracy of the climate model.

Due to the lack of more specific data, scientists are now characterizing climate model mineral dust as yellow (the average of general darkness and light).For this reason, the potential impact of mineral dust on the climate, and the potential impact of that climate on the climate. Mineral dust— Not well represented in the computer model.

The color and composition information collected by EMIT will change that. Incorporating equipment data is expected to improve the accuracy of climate models.

5. It helps scientists predict how future climate scenarios will affect the type and amount of dust in our atmosphere.

As Earth temperature As it rises, arid areas can become even drier, resulting in larger (and more dusty) deserts. How much this happens depends on several factors, including rising temperatures, changing land use, and changing rainfall trends.

By incorporating EMIT’s global dust source composition data into models and forecasts, scientists can better understand how the amount and composition of dust in dry areas changes under different climates and land use scenarios. I understand. They will also get a better understanding of how these changes can affect the climate in the future.

The new Imaging Spectrometer investigates atmospheric dust from the ISS

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For more information on the mission, please visit:

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NASA’s new mineral dust detector ready for launch

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