NASA scientists are leading an airborne field experiment to a warm tropical locale to take a close look at a largely unexplored region of the chilly upper atmosphere. This area is critical to the recovery of the ozone layer and predicting future climate change. This very cold region far above the Earth’s equator (54,000 feet), a few miles higher than commercial aircraft can fly, is the main pathway where the lower part of the atmosphere, known as the troposphere, flows into the stratosphere.
High-altitude flights by a NASA aircraft based in Costa Rica during the month-long field campaign are being choreographed with the orbits of Aura, NASA’s latest Earth-observing spacecraft. Launched in 2004, Aura helps scientists understand how atmospheric composition affects and responds to Earth’s changing climate. The satellite helps to reveal the processes that connect local and global air quality, and also tracks the extent the Earth’s protective ozone layer is recovering.
In concert with global observations from Aura, the Costa Rica Aura Validation Experiment (CR-AVE) is tackling some of the remaining puzzles about how ozone-destroying chemicals get into the stratosphere and how high-altitude clouds affect the flow of one of the most powerful greenhouse gases -- water -- into this critical region. The project is an integrated science and satellite validation campaign sponsored by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Paul Newman, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and Eric Jensen, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., orchestrate the field activities as CR-AVE project scientists.
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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