Aquarius Research Paper

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Aquarius has been in orbit since 2011, and gathered the data for this image in August 2013.

Australia's interior desert is also clearly visible, with the continent's moisture concentrated along the coasts.

Aquarius gathers data on soil moisture by detecting microwaves given off by the top 2 inches of soil.

Changes in the microwave signal indicate different levels of moisture.

Though not shown in this image, Aquarius also collects data on the concentration of salt at the ocean's surface.

Soil moisture measurements can help predict droughts and floods, and provide crucial information for agriculture.

NASA plans to launch a new satellite, the Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite, this year to gather more data on soil moisture, including
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