El Arenosillo
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El Arenosillo

December 2, 2005

The location featured in this image, El Arenosillo, is a center for aeronautics and space research. It is home to the Atmospheric Sounding Station, a facility devoted the measurement of the atmosphere.

The station, located in Huelva province in Southwestern Spain (bordering Portugal), experiences very clear weather (about 300 days per year that are cloud-free), making it an ideal location for monitoring ozone, ultraviolet radiation, and aerosols in the atmosphere.

In addition to ground-based measurements, the site houses a launch site for rockets that take measurements throughout the depth of the atmosphere; over 550 rockets have been launched from this facility since 1969.

These data collection efforts are a part of the AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET), an international consortium of researchers committed to sharing data and information for the benefit of science. Sensors linked to the network are located throughout the globe on every continent and aid in the creation of satellite images such as this one.

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