The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration (JAXA) Agency to study rainfall for weather and climate research, officially came to an end on April 15, 2015 (see http://pmm.nasa.gov/trmm/mission-end ).
Launched in November 1997, with a design lifetime of 3 years, TRMM produced over 17 years of valuable scientific data. TRMM carried 5 instruments: a 3-sensor rainfall suite (PR, TMI, VIRS) and 2 related instruments (LIS and CERES).
TRMM delivered a unique 17-year data-set of global tropical rainfall and lightning. The TRMM data-set became the space standard for measuring precipitation, and led to research that improved our understanding of tropical cyclone structure and evolution, convective system properties, lightning-storm relationships, climate and weather modeling, and human impacts on rainfall. The data also supported operational applications such as flood and drought monitoring and weather forecasting.
Each and every second of the day as many as 100 lightning bolts strike planet Earth. This new map reveals a tally of those flashes over the past two decades, tracking where they strike each year.
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