Sentinel 6 satellite measures the level of the oceans. The new eye Sentinel 6 satellite of the European Copernicus and of NASA, is in orbit. Its mission it will measure sea level with unprecedented precision, which is at the top of the list of major concerns related to climate change.
Josef Aschbacher, ESA's director of Earth observation said: "From Sentinel-6 measures are expected that will help to define even better the level and rate of rise in the oceans. "This is an extremely important parameter for climate monitoring, we know that the sea level is rising, but the big question is how fast."
The satellite is equipped with highly accurate radar that will measure the height of the oceans. It will also monitor wave height and wind speed to understand changes due to global warming. The mission includes two identical satellites, Sentinel-6 and Sentinel-6B.
The latter will be launched in 2025 to ensure continuity of the measures, at least until 2030. Over the last three decades, the Franco-US missions Topex-Poseidon and Jason, in combination with the European satellites Ers, Envisat, CryoSat and Sentinel-3 , showed that the level of the oceans has risen by about 3.2 millimeters on average per year and that in recent years the rate has increased to 4.8 millimeters per year.
A moon of Jupiter could be luminescent
As we told you some days ago, Europa is one of the moons of Jupiter, and has been studied by astroniomers and experts for a long time because it has many peculiarities, one of which could support a possible life of organisms.
But a new study says Europa could glow in the dark thanks to luminescence. The author of the study published in Nature Astronom said: "We were able to predict that this nocturnal ice glow could provide further information on the composition of Europa's surface.
The way this composition varies could give us clues that Europa is the prime candidate for hosting life." The next mission that aims to study the Jupiter satellite is Europa Clipper, which will observe the surface of the moon in more flyovers.
The mission scientists are examining the authors' findings to assess whether or not the glow in question is detectable by the spacecraft's scientific instruments. The launch of the probe will take place by 2025, and there may be plenty of time to mount a few more detectors and give us more spectacular evidence of this more unique than rare luminescence.
According to some researchers of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory they discovered this fact through some experiments obtained with the technique of astronomical spectroscopy. The icy Galilean satellite orbits the gas giant Jupiter and, while performing its waltz, must also withstand an incredible dose of radiation.
Jupiter in fact captures and redirects many charged particles and hits the surface of Europa relentlessly, literally immersing it in a sea of radiation. Radiation affects various materials present on the satellite's surface such as magnesium sulfate and sodium chloride salts, which are also very common here on Earth.
Together with molecules of water and ice, if hit with a good dose of charged particles, the electrons of these salts become excited, that is, they rise to a higher energy state. And when it is time to release energy and return to its original state, the release of energy occurs in the form of light radiation, giving rise to the phenomenon of luminescence.
If we imagine the process on a global scale then here we get a bright planet in all respects. The different salt compounds react differently to radiation and emit their own unique glow. To the naked eye, this luminescence could appear on green hues, or slightly blue and with varying degrees of brightness, depending on the material trapped in the ice layers.