Using Satellite Images to Understand Earth's Atmosphere

In this Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter, students select, explore, and analyze satellite imagery. They do so in the context of a case study of the origins of atmospheric carbon monoxide and aerosols, tiny solid airborne particles such as smoke from forest fires and dust from desert wind storms. They use the software tool ImageJ to animate a year of monthly images of aerosol data and then compare the animation to one created for monthly images of carbon monoxide data. Students select, explore and analyze satellite imagery using NASA Earth Observatory (NEO) satellite data and NEO Image Composite Explorer (ICE) tool to investigate seasonal and geographic patterns and variations in concentration of CO and aerosols in the atmosphere.

Go To:

Todd Ensign
et. al.
Earth Exploration Toolbook, TERC

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Introduce students to ImageJ before beginning the exercise.

Instructors should emphasize the effect of aerosols on the energy budget and climate.

Suggest pairing students for activity.

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