Aeolus: of weather and winds

Thanks to the wind, heat is distributed around the planet. Equatorial regions receive more heat from the Sun than other parts of the world. This leads to differences in air temperature, density and pressure, which in turn, cause the air to move – creating wind. This movement of air constitutes the general circulation of the atmosphere, transporting heat away from equatorial regions towards the poles, and returning cooler air to the tropics. The wind clearly plays an important role in weather forecasts, which in turn are not only important for planning our daily affairs, but vital for numerous commercial activities such as farming, fishing, transport, and for taking appropriate measures when extreme weather is on the horizon. Although weather forecasts have advanced considerably in recent years, there is a need for global wind measurements to improve them even further. ESA’s Aeolus mission will fill this gap by providing global wind-profiles in near-real time. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts will process these data and the data in their numerical weather prediction models, which will lead to better forecasting.

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Aeolus: preparing for launch

ESA’s Martin Kaspers joins us at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, where Aeolus is being readied for liftoff on 21 August 2018. Martin discusses some of the challenges they have encountered developing this state-of-the-art satellite mission. Aeolus uses powerful laser technology that probes the lowermost 30 km of our atmosphere to yield vertical profiles of the wind and information on aerosols and clouds – a completely new approach to measuring the wind from space.

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Earth from Space: Sharm El Sheikh

In the last episode of Earth from Space of the season, Sentinel-2 takes us to the famous resort coastal strip on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula.

Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web TV virtual studios.

See also http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/07/Sharm_El_Sheikh to download the image.

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Earth from Space: Shanghai

In this episode of Earth from Space, Sentinel-3A takes us over eastern China.
Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web TV virtual studios.

See also http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/07/Shanghai_China to download the image.

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Earth from Space: special edition

Discover more about our planet with the Earth from Space video programme. In this special edition, ESA’s Aeolus mission scientist, Anne Grete Straume, joins us in the cleanroom at Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France. She explains how winds are generated, how they affect our weather, and how Aeolus will measure the wind and how this information will be used to improve weather forecasts and climate models.

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Aeolus to understand winds

At the Airbus Defence and Space facility in Toulouse, France, ESA’s Aeolus wind satellite has been prepared for its launch on top of a Vega rocket from Kourou in French Guiana. Liftoff is currently scheduled for August. The development of this latest Earth Explorer started 16 years ago and has now finished.

From orbit Aeolus will measure wind profiles on a global scale using a pioneering laser technology. These measurements will greatly benefit existing meteorological models and fill a gap in the observations of wind.

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Learn more about Aeolus: http://bit.ly/AeolusESA

Earth from Space: Reykjavik

In this episode of Earth from Space, Sentinel-2 takes us to the volcanic island of Iceland.

Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web TV virtual studios.

See also http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/07/Reykjavik_Iceland to download the image.

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Earth from Space: Australian crater

Ahead of Asteroid Day, in this episode of Earth from Space, Sentinel-2 takes us over central Australia to the site of a comet or meteorite impact some 140 million years ago.

Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web TV virtual studios.

See also http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/06/Australian_crater to download the image.

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Earth from Space: Lake Huron

In this episode of Earth from Space, Sentinel-2A takes us over the second largest of the Great Lakes of North America.

Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web TV virtual studios.

See also http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/06/Lake_Huron to download the image.

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Earth from Space: Mount Makalu

Are you up for some climbing?
In this episode of Earth from Space, Sentinel-2 takes us over Mount Makalu in the Himalayas where Swedish explorer, mountaineer and climate campaigner, Carina Ahlqvist, led a climb this year.

Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web TV virtual studios.

See also http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/06/Mount_Makalu_Himalayas to download the image.

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