Published on 23 June 2016
For the first time, an instrument onboard an orbiting spacecraft has measured the methane emissions from a single, specific leaking facility on Earth's surface. The observation -- by the Hyperion spectrometer on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) -- is an important breakthrough in our ability to eventually measure and monitor emissions of this potent greenhouse gas from space.
Source: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
In a new paper accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a research team with scientist David R. Thompson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, detailed the observation, which occurred over Aliso Canyon, near Porter Ranch, California. The Hyperion instrument successfully detected the methane leak on three separate overpasses during the winter of 2015-16. The research was part of an investigation of the large accidental Aliso Canyon methane release last fall and winter.
The orbital observations from Hyperion were consistent with airborne measurements made by NASA's Airborne/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) imager flying onboard a NASA ER-2 aircraft.
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