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Airborne particulate matter (dust) is a major contaminant of telescope optics. In support of an initiative to study a large reflecting coronagraph, a project to monitor airborne dust and its deposition on mirror surfaces has begun. High airborne dust concentrations at Sacramento Peak are episodic in nature;
This experiment is intended to monitor airborne dust levels for a period of at least several months for comparison with other weather data and coronal sky brightness measurements. The information will ultimately be used for determining the degree of dust control necessary for the CLEAR telescope and the suitability of po http://www.bbso.njit.edu/~varsik/dust/dustindex.html
The grassy savannas of the Sahel once provided natural pasture land for livestock, but increasing demands on the land due to population growth have lead to desertification, which has been accompanied by increasing levels of airborne dust during the rainy season. http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast22may_1.htm