Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NRL's SHIMMER successfully observes Earth's highest clouds

17.11.2008
The Naval Research Laboratory's Spatial Heterodyne Imager for Mesospheric Radicals (SHIMMER) has successfully observed a second northern season of Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMCs), which are the Earth's highest clouds. This successful observation fulfills the primary goal of the Space Test Program Satellite-1 (STPSat-1) Extended Mission.

SHIMMER was originally launched as the primary payload of STPSat-1 on March 8, 2007, with the objective to demonstrate the novel optical technique of Spatial Heterodyne Spectroscopy and to obtain global measurements of the hydroxyl (OH) radical in the Earth's mesosphere (50-90 km altitude). After the successful completion of its nominal 1-year mission, STPSat-1 operations were transitioned to NRL, which has been operating the spacecraft since June 1, 2008 using a novel, low cost operations approach.

The primary objective of the SHIMMER Extended Mission was to continue global scale PMC observations during the northern PMC season, which ended in August 2008. PMCs form in a thin layer in summer near 82 km over polar latitudes. Some have argued that, due to increases in atmospheric humidity, cloud occurrences have been increasing in recent decades. Because STPSat-1 is in a relatively low inclination orbit, SHIMMER observes PMCs at their equator-ward edge (

SHIMMER has now measured the PMC diurnal variation for the two northern seasons of 2007 and 2008, and surprisingly, the variation is quite different. Even though a semidiurnal signature, that is two peaks per day -- one in early morning and one in the late afternoon -- was observed in 2007; in 2008, the variation was diurnal or one peak per day. This result has important implications for the inference of long-term trends from historical, space-based PMC observations because NASA and NOAA satellites that have observed PMCs over the last 25 years have all been launched into sun-synchronous orbits with different, fixed local times. Until the diurnal variation of these clouds is better understood, the SHIMMER data show that it is premature to make firm conclusions about multi-decadal trends in PMCs.

Donna McKinney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nrl.navy.mil

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New NASA study improves search for habitable worlds
20.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods
19.10.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>