Electronics Puzzler: Scientist Are Wrong

By Forrest M. Mims III
Puzzler 13

Joe Novice Thinks Scientist Are Wrong

Satellites provide global coverage of clouds, water vapor, dust, smoke and the ozone layer. The colorful images provided by the data from these satellites looks very impressive. But satellite instruments don't always stay calibrated and problems can occur when satellite orbits drift. Amateur scientist Joe Novice learned about this when he heard a satellite scientist say that the global aerosol cloud formed by the eruption of a giant volcano had dissipated much sooner than expected. Joe suspected the scientist was simply wrong, but he was not a satellite scientist. How did he use some everyday items and several electronic components to prove he was right?

How did amateur scientist Joe Novice prove a satellite expert wrong?

Puzzler hint:

What happens to twilights and the sky when a major volcano blows its top?

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