This photo, taken from space, shows the Southeast Pacific Ocean on the left, with patches of stratocumulus clouds along the coast of South American. Moving to the right (east) one can see the low lying coastal Atacama Desert and the Andes Mountain Range.
Click on image for full size
Image Courtesy of NASA
What are VOCALS' scientific questions?
The VOCALS scientists are very curious people. They want to find answers to three main questions:
How do small particles in the air affects the formation of stratus clouds and the drizzle they produce?
How do the oceans, atmosphere, and land affect each other in the Southeast Pacific region?
How well do measurements taken by instruments on satellites
far above the Earth compare to those made on ships, airplanes, and on the land?
All of these questions must be answered! They are very important to scientists. VOCALS' results will help us to know how the whole Earth's climate is influenced by the Southeast Pacific region.
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