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The Earth Observer: Jul - Aug, 2006

Volume 18, Issue 4

In This Issue

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  • Editor’s Corner Front Cover
  • In Memoriam
  • Yoram Kaufman4
  • Feature Articles
  • First Images From NASA’S CloudSat and CALIPSO Have Scientists Sky-High5
  • Solar Irradiance Variability During the SORCE Mission8
  • AIRS Tracks Transport of Dust from China Dust Storm of April 2006: A Preliminary Look at Data from the AIRS “Dust Flag”15
  • Meeting/Workshop Summaries
  • The Glory of the Story: A Summary of Kendall Haven’s Presentation at the May EPO Colloquium17
  • NASA Takes Kids on a Jungle “Odyssey of the Mind”21
  • CALIPSO-CloudSat Educator’s Launch Conference23
  • Colorado State University Hosts CloudSat/CALIPSO Science Team Launch Dinner26
  • Fifth CERES-II Science Team Meeting28
  • In The News
  • NASA Study Finds Clock Ticking Slower On Ozone Hole Recovery33
  • What’s Up with Sea Level?34
  • NASA Satellites Find Balance in South America’s Water Cycle?36
  • NASA’s TRMM Satellite Captures Deluge in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic38
  • Regular Features
  • Scientists in the News39
  • NASA Science Mission Directorate—Science Education Update41
  • EOS Science Calendars43

Editor’s Corner

Michael King, EOS Senior Project Scientist

I am pleased to report that, after executing a series of extremely precise maneuvers, both the CloudSat and Cloud Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) satellites are in position in the Afternoon “A-Train” Constellation and formation flying has begun. CloudSat and CALIPSO now join Aqua, Aura, and PARASOL in the A-Train, and these missions will work together to provide new insights into the global distribution and evolution of clouds and aerosols to improve weather forecasting and climate prediction. CloudSat flies about a minute behind Aqua in the formation, and precedes CALIPSO by a mere 12.5 (+/- 2.5) seconds.

Even before the two satellites were in place in the A-Train, the first images from each mission were flowing back to Earth, revealing never-before-seen three-dimensional details about clouds and aerosols. Mission managers tested the flight- and ground-system performance of CloudSat’s Cloud-Profiling Radar (CPR) in late May, and found it to be working perfectly. Thirty seconds after the radar was activated for the first time, the CPR obtained...