NASA's Earth Minute - My Name is Aerosol



This is an aerosol particle.

In real life, you could barely see it.

It's just a little speck suspended in the atmosphere anywhere from a few days to several years.

It could be dust from a desert, or salt from ocean spray.

It could have been blasted out of a volcano, or created during a forest fire.

It might have flown out of a factory smokestack, or a truck's tailpipe.

Depending on what it isand where it isan aerosol particle can do some impressive things.

Like cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back into space, or by collecting water vapor to build a cloud.

On the other hand, some aerosol particles trap sunlight and heat the air, thus preventing clouds from forming.

Other aerosols can host chemical reactions that damage the ozone layer.