A new satellite to measure pollution

  • 13 October 2017
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The Sentinel-5P satellite has launched

A new satellite has been sent into space to help scientists study the Earth's atmosphere.

Sentinel-5P was built in the UK and is part of a big project called Copernicus, which aims to help us understand what is happening to the Earth's environment.

The project is named after the famous scientist Copernicus. He was one of the first people to suggest that the Earth revolved around the Sun, and not the other way around.

This is the sixth satellite in the programme to lift off! Another one called Sentinel-2A is studying how well the world's food crops grow.

Sentinel-5P's job is to find out about the levels of gasses like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and methane in our atmosphere.

Scientists on Earth can then work out if the levels are dangerous or not.

Image copyright EPA/ESA
Image caption The satellite was blasted into space on this rocket

The satellite weighs 820 kilograms - that's like eight baby elephants - and it will orbit 804 kilometres above the Earth.

How did it get up there? Well, it got a ride into space on a Russian rocket called... Rockot

Scientists are hoping that these satellites will give us lots of information to help us understand what is happening to the Earth's environment.

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