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This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science.
CERES Science Objectives
The CERES sensors are designed to help scientists understand the fate of sunlight after it enters the Earth's environment. Some sunlight is reflected by clouds or the surface back up into space, while some is absorbed and then stored as heat. Subsequently, this energy is emitted as longwave radiation, much of which gets trapped in the Earth's atmosphere by clouds and greenhouse gases. (Animation by Susan Gonnelli, NASA TV)