HomeArticlesTerra Satellite 20-Year Anniversary: The Instruments
Terra Satellite 20-Year Anniversary: The Instruments
December 21, 2019
Since 1999, the Terra satellite has been continually observing Earth Terra’s 20 years of data offers an in-depth view of Earth’s systems. The data collected by Terra’s five sensors allow scientists to monitor and predict changes… …that affect everyone on Earth. The sensors monitor and observe Earth’s atmosphere,… …land surface changes, water and energy. ASTER, a joint American-Japanese sensor, its as a zoom lens. ASTER is used to create detailed maps of Earth’s land surface and elevation… …while monitoring volcanoes… …and aiding in natural disaster recovery efforts. CERES, measures the Earth’s total energy budget, providing data about how the Sun’s energy interacts with Earth’s sky and surface… …and drives the Earth’s changing climate. MISR’s nine different views of Earth distinguish different types of aerosols, clouds and land surface cover. MISR monitors… …hurricanes, dust storms, and smoke… …by measuring the height of clouds and the distribution over the land surface. MISR’s data helps track poor air quality conditions, helping people avoid unsafe air conditions. MODIS observes a wide-array of Earth’s systems. MODIS views the whole Earth every 1 to 2 days, collecting valuable data about Earth’s Clouds, snow and ice, oceans, and land cover. While monitoring changes over time. MODIS and its data is used by those fighting wildfires. MODIS, together with MISR and MOPITT, help monitor fires while they are burning and their effects long after they are extinguished. MOPITT, the final of Terra’s five sensors, is an American-Canadian team effort. The sensor measures carbon monoxide, a pollutant, in the atmosphere. MOPITT allows scientists to track sources of carbon monoxide… …and track its impact on air quality across the globe. Terra: Collecting data about Earth every 99 minutes. For 20 years.