Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Physicists To Help Unravel Mysteries Of Near Space

3 May 2002

Otago Physicists To Help Unravel Mysteries Of Near Space

Otago space researchers are taking part in an international experimental effort involving a satellite launched from the International Space Station.

While the Russian satellite counts the number of highly charged particles heading from the Van Allen Belt, which is the zone of high-intensity radiation surrounding the planet, towards the ionosphere above New Zealand, University of Otago Space Physicists will be taking ground-based readings of these particles' effects on the ionosphere.

The Otago researchers hope that a comparison of the two sets of data will help shed light on the "incredibly complicated processes" through which the particles, which make up the radiation belts in near space are precipitated into the Earth's atmosphere, says space physics researcher Dr Craig Rodger.

The Kolibri-2000 microsatellite was launched from the International Space Station (ISS) on March 19 2002 and due to atmospheric friction is expected to burn up this Saturday. As well as the particle counters, it is carrying equipment to make electric and magnetic field measurements. In the brief period before it burns up, groups in New Zealand, Australia and the US are taking ground measurements in collaboration with the Russian Space Agency, IKI, says Dr Rodger.

The Otago team has booked the final three 20-minute recording sessions with the satellite as it passes over Dunedin, and they plan to exchange their ground data for the information gathered from space, he says.

"Hopefully the satellite will be able to measure a stream of energetic particles heading towards the atmosphere. Then, with our own measurements of the subsequent ionospheric effects and the timings involved, we should be able to see whether our theories concerning the effect of lightning on these particles are on the right track," he says.

Very low frequency radio waves produced by lightning are known to travel out and remove particles from the belts, and the Otago researchers believe that this method of removal may be much more important than previously thought, he says.

"It's incredibly difficult to find out what's going on in the radiation belts. The data gathered will hopefully provide the sort of 'real world' numbers we need to plug into our calculations. Also, it's a great opportunity to participate in an international programme that will further our understanding of Near Space."

The team took measurements on May 1, 2 and will do so again tonight. Viewing times for the International Space Station, which is following Kolibri-2000 by ten minutes, may be found at: https://neptune.hq.nasa.gov/novis/ISScountrylist.cfm

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

ScoopPro: Helping The Education Sector Get More Out Of Scoop

The ScoopPro professional license includes a suite of useful information tools for professional users of Scoop including some specifically for those in the education sector to make your Scoop experience better. More>>

Big Tax Bill Due: Destiny Church Charities Deregistered

The independent Charities Registration Board has decided to remove Destiny International Trust and Te Hahi o Nga Matamua Holdings Limited from the Charities Register on 20 December 2017 because of the charities’ persistent failure to meet their annual return obligations. More>>

57 Million Users' Data: Uber Breach "Utterly Preventatable"

Cybersecurity leader Centrify says the Uber data breach of 57 million customer and driver records - which the ride-hailing company hid for more than a year - was “utterly preventable”. More>>

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

Having A Cow? Dairy Product Prices Slide For Fourth Straight Auction

Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, retreating for the fourth straight auction amid signs of increased production... Whole milk powder fell 2.7 percent to US$2,778 a tonne. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Butter At Record $5.67/Block; High Vegetable Prices

Rising dairy prices have pushed food prices up 2.7 percent in the year to October 2017, Stats NZ said today. This followed a 3.0 percent increase in the year to September 2017. More>>

ALSO:

Science: New Research Finds Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance

New University of Canterbury research confirms that the active ingredients of the commonly used herbicides, RoundUp, Kamba and 2,4-D (glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D, respectively), each alone cause antibiotic resistance at concentrations well below label application rates. More>>

ALSO: