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Latest Thermosphere Stories

NASA Developing Sodium Lidar To Help Examine Eartth’s Mesophere
2013-10-30 18:52:47

Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online Future trips to space will be looking closely at sodium. Not as in the salt that astronauts use to flavor their food and can be brought to space in small packets. NASA scientists are instead looking at the sodium – the sixth most abundant element in Earth’s crust – that exists in the mesosphere. While sodium is already used as a coolant in nuclear power plants and can be used as a desiccant to remove humidity, it is also found...

Atmospheric Drag Impacts On Satellite Orbits
2013-09-12 04:13:35

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online A beach ball-sized satellite designed to investigate the impact that atmospheric drag can have on satellite orbits is slated to be launched by NASA on Sunday, September 15. The satellite, which is known as the Drag and Atmospheric Neutral Density Explorer (DANDE), was designed and built by students at the University of Colorado Boulder. It will depart from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and be carried into space aboard a...

Shuttle Exhaust Reveals More About Atmospheric Winds
2012-08-29 08:07:03

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The last space shuttle flight took place on July 8, 2011, sending Atlantis into space for its thirty-third, and final mission. This flight marked the end of a 20-year space shuttle program. As Atlantis reached a height of about 70 miles over the east coast of the U.S., it released 350 tons of water vapor exhaust. The vapor plume spread and floated on air currents high in the Earth's atmosphere, crossing through the observation paths...

Image 1 - The Surprising Power Of A Solar Storm
2012-03-23 09:52:15

[ Watch the Video ] Solar storm dumps gigawatts into Earth's upper atmosphere A recent flurry of eruptions on the sun did more than spark pretty auroras around the poles.  NASA-funded researchers say the solar storms of March 8th through 10th dumped enough energy in Earth´s upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years. “This was the biggest dose of heat we´ve received from a solar storm since 2005,” says Martin Mlynczak of...

NASA Selects NRL's MIGHTI For Potential Space Flight
2011-11-11 04:01:38

A Naval Research Laboratory instrument designed to study the Earth's thermosphere is part of a future science mission that has been selected by NASA for evaluation for flight. The NRL-developed Michelson Interferometer for Global High-resolution Thermospheric Imaging (MIGHTI) satellite instrument is part of the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission, led by Thomas Immel at the University of California, Berkeley. The ICON mission will fly instruments designed to understand the...

Image 1 - Venus Weather Not So Boring After All
2011-09-28 04:26:59

At first glance, a weather forecaster for Venus would have either a really easy or a really boring job, depending on your point of view. The climate on Venus is widely known to be unpleasant -- at the surface, the planet roasts at more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit under a suffocating blanket of sulfuric acid clouds and a crushing atmosphere more than 90 times the pressure of Earth's. Intrepid future explorers should abandon any hope for better days, however, because it won't change much....

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2010-11-07 07:54:19

Nine years after beginning its unprecedented look at the gateway between Earth's environment and space, not to mention collecting more data on the upper atmosphere than any other satellite, NASA's Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) mission has been extended again. Before the launch of TIMED, the mesosphere and lower thermosphere/ionosphere -- which help protect us from harmful solar radiation -- had been one of the least explored and understood regions of our...

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2010-08-27 06:50:00

Large changes in the sun's energy output may drive unexpectedly dramatic fluctuations in Earth's outer atmosphere. Results of a study published August 26th link a recent, temporary shrinking of a high atmospheric layer with a sharp drop in the sun's ultraviolet radiation levels. The research, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU), indicates that the sun's magnetic cycle, which produces...

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2010-08-26 23:40:03

Large changes in the sun's energy output may drive unexpectedly dramatic fluctuations in Earth's outer atmosphere.Results of a study published today link a recent, temporary shrinking of a high atmospheric layer with a sharp drop in the sun's ultraviolet radiation levels.The research, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU), indicates that the sun's magnetic cycle, which produces differing...

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2010-07-16 07:10:00

NASA-funded researchers are monitoring a big event in our planet's atmosphere. High above Earth's surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called "the thermosphere" recently collapsed and now is rebounding again. "This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years," says John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab, lead author of a paper announcing the finding in the June 19th issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). "It's a Space Age...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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