Scientists will soon be able to monitor air pollution hourly from space

NASA, South Korea, and the European Space Agency are working together on a “virtual constellation” of space-based instruments to document global air quality in unprecedented detail. For the first time, scientists will be able to track pollution from space on an hourly basis.

The first instrument to launch was South Korea’s Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS) on February 18th, which flew into space mounted on a Korean satellite also tasked with ocean surface monitoring. NASA plans to send a nearly identical instrument to space aboard a commercial communications satellite in 2022, it said in a briefing today. They’ll be followed by the European Space Agency’s two instruments that will join its existing air quality…

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