Earth’s energy budget is a metaphor for the delicate equilibrium between energy received from the Sun versus energy radiated back out in to space.
Research into precise details of Earth’s energy budget is vital for understanding how the planet’s climate may be changing, as well as variabilities in solar energy output.
Missions like NASA’s TSIS will help scientists keep a close watch.
NASA’s Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor, or TSIS-1, is a mission to measure the sun’s energy input to Earth.
Various satellites have captured a continuous record of this solar energy input since 1978. TSIS-1 sensors advance previous measurements, enabling scientists to study the sun’s natural influence on Earth’s ozone layer, atmospheric circulation, clouds, and ecosystems.
These observations are essential for a scientific understanding of the effects of solar variability on the Earth system.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center manages the project. The University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) built both instruments and provides mission operations. The International Space Station carries TSIS-1.
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