March 16, 2011
March 17 marks St. Patrick's Day —a day when shamrocks, Ireland and "wearing of the green" are especially in vogue. To celebrate this festive occasion, NASA's Aqua satellite has picked a clover of different views of the Emerald Isle, Ireland.
The collection of images acquired by Aqua's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on March 3, 2011, includes near-infrared/visible, infrared and microwave light views of the land where St. Patrick's Day originated.
The AIRS instrument measures temperatures of land, sea and air to provide a better understanding of what is happening in those environments.
The clover of AIRS images reveal temperatures near Earth's surface that were near normal for this time of year. The visible image showed a mostly cloud-free country blanketed by an approaching cold front. The infrared image showed low western clouds associated with a cold front moving east. The microwave brightness temperature data are a bit colder than the infrared temperature data, 273 Kelvin, which is just at the freezing point of water (0 degrees Celsius, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit).
For more information about these images, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/aqua-clover.html .
AIRS observes and records the global daily distribution of temperature, water vapor, clouds and several atmospheric gases, including ozone, methane and carbon monoxide. For more on AIRS, see http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/ .
Alan Buis 818-354-0474
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.