Google Play icon

Flash of Brilliance: CALIPSO Satellite Marks ‘First Light’

Share
Posted June 8, 2016
On June 7, during its first day of lidar operations, CALIPSO observed the layers of clouds and aerosols shown here in an orbit over eastern Asia, Indonesia and Australia. Credits: NASA

On June 7, during its first day of lidar operations, CALIPSO observed the layers of clouds and aerosols shown here in an orbit over eastern Asia, Indonesia and Australia.
Credits: NASA

On June 7, 2006, the CALIPSO satellite got to work doing something that has made atmospheric scientists very, very happy over the last 10 years.

In an event known as “First Light,” the satellite, whose name stands for Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation, began collecting lidar measurements of the vertical structure and properties of Earth’s clouds and atmospheric aerosols. Those aerosols are made up of things like dust, sea salt, ash and soot.

On its first day of operation, CALIPSO observed the layers of clouds and aerosols in an orbit over eastern Asia, Indonesia and Australia.

In April of 2010, CALIPSO spotted ash particles from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano in the skies over France. Credits: NASA

In April of 2010, CALIPSO spotted ash particles from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano in the skies over France.
Credits: NASA

Since then, CALIPSO has used its lasers to take more than 5.7 billion lidar measurements. Here are just a few of the ways it has added to our understanding of atmospheric science:

“CALIPSO has been an extraordinarily successful mission,” said project scientist Chip Trepte of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. “It’s transformed our understanding of clouds and given us tremendous insight into their vertical structure and where in the atmosphere they form.”

CALIPSO is a joint venture between NASA and the French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, or CNES.

Source: NASA

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
84,820 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. New Class of Painkillers Offers all the Benefits of Opioids, Minus the Side Effects and Addictiveness (2 days old)
  2. Top NASA Manager Says the 2024 Moon Landing by Astronauts might not Happen (September 19, 2019)
  3. How social media altered the good parenting ideal (September 4, 2019)
  4. What's the difference between offensive and defensive hand grenades? (September 26, 2019)
  5. Just How Feasible is a Warp Drive? (September 25, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email