NASA Leads Study of Unprecedented Arctic Ozone Loss
PASADENA, Calif. – A NASA-led study has documented an unprecedented depletion of Earth's protective ozone layer above the Arctic last winter and spring caused by an unusually prolonged period of extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere.
NASA, NOAA Data Show Significant Antarctic Ozone Hole Remains
The Antarctic ozone hole, which yawns wide every Southern Hemisphere spring, reached its annual peak on Sept. 12. It stretched to 10.05 million square miles, the ninth largest ozone hole on record. Above the South Pole, the ozone hole reached its deepest point of the season on Oct. 9, tying this year for the 10th lowest in this 26-year record.
2011 Antarctic Ozone Minimum
October 21, 2011
Scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed today that ozone depletion over the South Pole in 2011 has reached its annual maximum. Researchers used satellites, ground based monitors, and instrumented balloons to observe the hole, finding it to be among the top 10 worst for the breadth and depth of ozone loss in the 26 year record.
The south pole-centered map above is based on data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on the Aurasatellite. OMI is a spectrometer, built for the NASA satellite by scientists in The Netherlands and Finland, that measures the amount of sunlight scattered by Earth’s atmosphere and surface. OMI allows scientists to assess how much ozone is present at various altitudes—particularly the stratosphere—and near the ground.
View the latest status of the ozone layer over the Antarctic, with a focus on the ozone hole. Satellite instruments monitor the ozone layer, and we use their data to create the images that depict the amount of ozone.
Images, data, and information for the Southern Hemisphere
Detailed UV Exposure Levels
Asteroid 2005 YU55 to Approach Earth on November 8, 2011
Near-Earth asteroid 2005 YU55 will pass within 0.85 lunar distances from the Earth on November 8, 2011. The upcoming close approach by this relatively large 400 meter-sized, C-type asteroid presents an excellent opportunity for synergistic ground-based observations including optical, near infrared and radar data. The attached animated illustration shows the Earth and moon flyby geometry for November 8th and 9th when the object will reach a visual brightness of 11th magnitude and should be easily visible to observers in the northern and southern hemispheres. The closest approach to Earth and the Moon will be respectively 0.00217 AU and 0.00160 AU on 2011 November 8 at 23:28 and November 9 at 07:13 UT.