OSTM/Jason 2 map of wet path delay from July 4 to July 14, 2008 (left) created with data from the JPL Advanced Microwave Radiometer compared to the same 10-day period of data from the Jason Microwave Radiometer onboard Jason 1 (right). The map shows the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere beneath the satellite, which delays the time it takes for the radar pulse from the spacecraft's altimeter to travel to the ocean surface and back. By knowing exactly how much water vapor is in the signal's path, together with the time it takes for the signal to bounce back, mission scientists can calculate the exact distance between the satellite and the ocean surface. This information along with the precise location of the spacecraft allows them to determine the height of the sea surface.
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