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How NASA Studies Air
How NASA Studies Air

How NASA Studies Air

NASA missions collect data that tells us more about the composition, behavior, and quality of our air. Using that data, scientists develop or refine their theories about climate and its effects. They try to determine which long-term variations in climate result from natural causes and which are caused by people.

They monitor the ozone layer to detect changes, and they try to determine the causes and their impact on the planet. To test their theories, they send up new missions. They share what they learn, so we can benefit from weather prediction and understand how we affect the air quality and how it affects us.

Over the next 15 years, an international program called EOS will monitor climate and environmental change on Earth. The leading satellite in this program is called Terra. From Terra will come data for new research about how Earth's lands, oceans, air, ice, and life function as a total environmental system

Air Spray
Terra, the Earth Observing System flagship, is flying above your head right now! This satellite is studying many things, including "Airspray", aerosols that cause global cooling!

Graphing Atmospheric Ozone
Visit the Exploratorium's Ozone graphing activity to use actual satellite data in your own "ozone hole" investigations.

Air Pressure
The force exerted on you and things around you by the weight of tiny particles of air (air molecules) is called air pressure. Although air molecules are invisible, they still have weight and take up space. Air pressure makes it possible to fly in airplanes and keeps our bodies from exploding! Find out how air pressure affects you and why it's important.

Updated: January 22, 2003