Shop Windows to the Universe

Dig into Montana Before History: 11K Years of Hunter-Gatherers in the Rockies and Plains by D. H. MacDonald, Ph.D. See our online store book collection.

Click on image for full size
Correl photography

The Rain Falls Mainly in the...?
News story originally written on September 29, 1997

Tropical rainfall makes up more than two-thirds of all of the rain that falls on Earth. Tropical rainfall is rain that falls between the latitudes of the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. (Do you live in this area?)

Tropical rain is very important for the whole Earth. It spreads heat out over the whole Earth. That way the heat doesn't just gather in one place on the Earth. Because this rain distributes heat, it plays a big role in what kind of weather different places on Earth experience.

Scientists are very interested to see how tropical rainfall affects weather in different places so they are sending into space the TRMM satellite. TRMM stands for Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission.

The satellite was supposed to be launched October 31, 1997 from a Japanese launch site. It will still be launched from Japan, but the launch date has been delayed to November 18, 1997. The TRMM satellite is to be launched with another satellite. Engineers just found problems with TRMM's companion satellite and so they are taking the extra two weeks to fix the mechanical problems.

The TRMM will take very accurate measurements of tropical rainfall. It will even take measurements over the ocean where it is hard to gather accurate data from Earth. Scientists are hoping that TRMM's measurements will shed light on the El Nino condition that seems to be happening.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

El Nino is Brewing Again

El Nino is a disruption in the ocean-atmosphere system in the tropical Pacific. It has global consequences. When there are El Nino conditions in the Pacific, one can expect weather changes all over the...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more

Moon Found Orbiting Asteroid

A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more

U.S. is Fed Up with Russia

Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials want an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting to be...more

More on Recent Coronal Mass Ejection

A coronal mass ejection (CME) happened on the Sun early last month. The material that was thrown out from this explosion passed the ACE spacecraft. The SWICS instrument on ACE has produced a new and very...more

Mother Nature's Air Conditioning

J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service called forests the "heart and lungs of the world." This is because forests filter air and water pollution, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and maintain...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA