How much ozone is in the stratosphere? What role do aerosols play in the air we breathe? These are some of the questions we are seeking to answer with ongoing SAGE missions. The next SAGE instrument is set to launch to the International Space Station on February 18, 2017.
The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment, SAGE, is part of NASA’s mission to provide long-term measurements that help humans better understand and protect Earth’s atmosphere. SAGE measures the Earth’s sunscreen, or ozone, along with other gases and aerosols, or tiny particles in the atmosphere. SAGE makes its measurements by locking onto the sun or moon and scanning the limb, or thin profile of the atmosphere from the unique vantage point of the International Space Station (ISS) which helps maximize the scientific value of SAGE III observations.
Our GLOBE Community is also interested in these atmosphere parameters! While we take measurements on the ground, in the troposphere, SAGE is making measurements about what is happening in the upper atmosphere. For ozone in particular, it’s really important to know where the ozone is. Ozone in the upper atmosphere is good – helping protect Earth from Sun’s harmful rays. On the ground, lower level ozone can be dangerous to our health. Aerosols have an impact on our air no matter where they are in our atmosphere, but aerosols that get into the stratosphere tend to stay up there for longer times. Aerosols in the stratosphere stay there longer because within the troposphere we have weather. Rain showers can ‘wash away’ aerosols.
You can incorporate the SAGE III Mission with your GLOBE investigations. Here’s what I’d recommend: