Can you believe a school in New York State is sending a massive camera up into space to study the Earth?

Scientists at Cornell University have teamed up with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to create a brand new, cutting-edge imaging spectrometer. The instrument will allow other scientists to study the Earth's land and surface area from space. NASA plans to install the new tool to the International Space Station on June 7th at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The programs launch is all a part of the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT). Scientists are studying small particles, or aerosols, to see how they are impacting climate change on Earth. The project was chosen from a group of proposals in 2018 under NASA's Earth Venture Instrument initiative.

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Before that, EMIT came about from another Cornell alumni research project in 2015. Rachel Scanza (M.S. '14, Ph.D. '16) led a study which examined radiative dust and it's global effects. Though originally conducted for agricultural purposes, they found the color of soil and mineralogy greatly impacted atmospheric temperatures.

Scientists at NASA and Cornell believe EMIT will create high resolution pictures, making it easier for the scientists to study the particles. It provide better images and evidence towards which dust aerosol's are having the greatest impact on temperature changes.

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EMIT is expected to launch on June 7th as part of SpaceX's 25th commercial resupply services mission for NASA.

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