NASA's AURA Spacecraft Launched


AURA, a NASA mission dedicated to the health of Earth's atmosphere, was finally launched today on the fourth try.

With the launch of Aura, the first series of NASA's Earth Observing System satellites is complete. The other satellites are Terra, which monitors land, and Aqua, which observes Earth's water cycle.

Aura will help answer three key scientific questions: Is the Earth's protective ozone layer recovering? What are the processes controlling air quality? How is the Earth's climate changing? NASA expects early scientific data from Aura within 30-90 days.

Aura's four instruments are:
- the High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HIRDLS)
- the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS)
- the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI)
- the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES)

Read the full article at TechNewsWorld:
Technology News: Science: NASA's Aura Spacecraft Launches from Vandenberg

AURA Website:
NASA AURA Earth Observing Mission


Fastest Space Storm on Record


The first of an unprecedented series of powerful solar storms that punished Earth in 2003 is now at the edge of the solar system. That's 8 billion miles (13 billion kilometers) away!

Scientists monitored the storms' progress with spacecraft arrayed between Earth and the edge of the solar system.

But the storms remained strong clear out to the giant planets and beyond. One disrupted the magnetic fields of both Jupiter and Saturn, creating fresh localized storms similar to those that strike Earth in the hours after initial eruptions.

Read the entire article here: Fastest Space Storm on Record Reaches Edge of Solar System: