The Northern Lights are a visible result of physical processes in inner space. By studying the optical signal from the Northern Lights and similar phenomena, we can gain new knowledge about the physics behind them. In the long run such pure research may be of great importance for applications in our future supply of energy and for future space travel.
A dissertation at Umeå University, Sweden, by researcher Urban Brändström at The Swedish Institute of Space Physics, focuses on the construction and operation of a new land-based metering system, ALIS, designed for optic studies of the Northern Lights and other weak light phenomena. ALIS now consists of six unmanned metering stations placed in a net of squares of about 50 km on a side. Each station is equipped with a light-sensitive CCD camera and a filter wheel with narrow-band filters. It is therefore possible to carry out studies of the different “colors” in the phenomenon observed. Since the stations’ fields of vision overlap, it is also possible to glean information about altitude.
ALIS performed the first unequivocal observations of artificial light emissions at high latitudes. They were generated by a powerful radio transmitter at the EISCAT facility in Tromsø, and they were observed simultaneously by several ALIS stations. This made it possible to obtain altitude profiles for the first time. Experiments of this type thus offer exciting potential for enhanced understanding of the physics of inner space.
Rick McGregor | alfa
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18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin
Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
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Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
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Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
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