The SORCE Satellite
Three of the four SORCE instruments will be of direct use to Earth scientists. They are the Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM), the Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM), and the Solar Stellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment (SOLSTICE). TIM will accurately determine the TSI by recording the sum of the energy from nearly all the Suns wavelengths. SIM will measure upper portion of the ultraviolet spectrum (200400 nm), the full visible range, and the near infrared up to 2000 nm. SOLSTICE will measure the full ultraviolet beginning at 100 nm, and includes the lower half of the ultraviolet region of SIM (200-300 nm). The 200300 nm portion of ultraviolet measured by both SIM and SOLSTICE overlaps with UV-B (290320 nm) which causes skin cancer, and is normally blocked from us by the stratospheres ozone layer. (See Ultraviolet Radiation: How it Affects Life on Earth) Its readings will be of primary importance to understanding the Suns impact on the stratosphere. A fourth instrument, known as the Extreme Ultraviolet Photometer System (XPS), will be of indirect use to Earth scientists. The instrument will measure very high-energy ultraviolet radiation and lower energy x-ray wavelengths. These readings should yield valuable information about the Suns corona, solar events that impact satellite communications, and the Suns effects on the very outermost layers of the Earths atmosphere.
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