TIMED Watches Earth's Response to Strong Solar Storms in April 2002
January 30, 2013
Data from the APL-developed GUVI (Global Ultraviolet Imager) instrument shows intense auroras, indicated in red, occurring over the northern polar region during solar storms in April 2002, and extending much further south than usual. Several data tracks, acquired during multiple spacecraft passes, are superimposed over an Earth image to show the location of the auroras. One of the puzzles Sun-Earth Connection scientists are trying to solve is how and why Earth's atmosphere responds differently to various types of solar storms. Dr. Larry Paxton, GUVI chief scientist from The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., says, "GUVI's ability to quantify Earth's response to these types of solar events will help TIMED and the scientific community make great progress toward solving this Sun-Earth Connection mystery." GUVI is a spatial scanning, far-ultraviolet spectrograph that globally measures the composition and temperature profiles of Earth's upper atmosphere (the mesosphere and lower thermosphere/ionosphere), as well as its auroral energy inputs. GUVI is a collaborative effort between APL and the Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, Calif. APL maintains the instrument's Payload Operations Center from its campus in Laurel, Md.
Topics: Environment, Technology Internet, Atmosphere, Planetary science, Physics, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, TIMED, Thermosphere, University of Colorado at Boulder, Space, Aurora, Ionosphere, Space plasmas, Plasma physics, Astronomy