Shop Windows to the Universe

Young Voices for the Planet DVD in our online store includes 8 films where students speak out and take action on climate change.
A scientist prepares to launch a radiosonde.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of the Digital Image Library, UCAR

MILAGRO Instruments

Researchers are setting up instruments on the ground during MILAGRO to make observations and measurements about the air around Mexico City that can't be made from airplanes. Here are a few examples of the instruments of the instruments they use:

Radiosondes: During MILAGRO, teams based at ground sites in the Mexico City area are launching radiosondes. Scientists have been using these weather balloons since the 1930s. As the balloon rises into the sky, instruments attached to it measure temperature, pressure, and humidity. The measurements are sent by radio to scientists on the ground. By keeping track of the location of the balloon in the sky, researchers can also determine wind speed and direction.

Tethersonde: A tethersonde is like a radiosonde but is tethered (fixed) to the ground with a cord. The cord keeps the balloon and its instruments closer to the ground, limiting measurements to the lowest layer of the atmosphere that is just above Earth's surface. Researchers can move the instruments up and down the cord.

Click for full size

Wind profilers: Wind profilers are instruments that measure wind speed and direction up to about 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). MILAGRO researchers are setting up wind profilers near Mexico City to determine where air pollution particles go when the wind blows them out of the city.

Click for full size

Mobile laboratories: The MILAGRO researchers are using a variety of laboratories based in vans and trailers. The labs, which contain instruments for sampling particles and gases in the air, will be driven around the Mexico City area.

Click for full size

Satellites: MILAGRO researchers are also using data retrieved by satellites circling Earth to learn more about the distribution of clouds, particles, and different chemicals in the atmosphere. One satellite they will get information from is MOPITT, which flies on NASA's EOS Terra spacecraft. The satellite measures the distribution of the air pollutant carbon monoxide in the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere.

Click for full size


Other instruments on airplanes will also be used during the campaign.


Last modified June 17, 2010 by Becca Hatheway.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books on science education!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

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

Aircraft Used in the MILAGRO Campaign

The MILAGRO scientists will use six different airplanes to study air pollution around Mexico City. Each plane will have different instruments onboard that will help scientists measure air pollution. They'll...more

Introduction to Milagro

MILAGRO stands for Megacity Initiative: Local and Global Research Observations. What that really means is that a team of researchers from around the world is in Mexico City to study the atmosphere there....more

MILAGRO Instruments

Researchers are setting up instruments on the ground during MILAGRO to make observations and measurements about the air around Mexico City that can't be made from airplanes. Here are a few examples of...more

Megacities

Mexico City, where the field campaign MILAGRO takes place, is a "megacity." A megacity is defined as having 10 million or more inhabitants. The 21st century is definitely shaping up to be the Urban Century....more

Milagro Campaign - For Kids!

Atmosphere And Clouds Word Search Air Quality Word Search (Printable) -- And the Answer Key Air Quality Word Scramble Greener Machine – Cars: How You And Others Can Make A Difference! Interactive Game...more

Milagro Campaign - For Educators!

Age-Appropriate Windows to the Universe Activities on Climate, Atmosphere and Weather Earth 911 Teachers' Section Educational Materials from the EPA Air Pollution - What's the Solution? A 6-12 Educational...more

I Want to Know More...

About the Campaign MILAGRO Official Homepage Mirage Homepage (Megacity Campaign) Department of Energy Atmospheric Science Program (ASP) MEGACITY Aerosol Experiment in Mexico City (MAX-Mex) NASA’s Intercontinental...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