Feeds

Rainy day? Blame cosmic rays

Particle accelerators show us how

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Scientists have speculated for some time that cosmic rays could have an effect on the weather, and now the experiment designed to test the idea has begun collecting data.

The CLOUD experiment (which contrives to be short for Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets) kicked off on Thursday last week, with a prototype detector in a particle beam at CERN. It is, you will be surprised to hear, the first time a particle detector has been used to investigate the links between space and Earth weather.

The experiment is designed to probe the tiny interactions between the clouds and cosmic rays. The working hypothesis is that cosmic rays can create seed particles, tiny aerosols around which cloud droplets form. This in turn can increase cloud cover, which is tremendously significant in determining our climate. Very small variations in the amount of cloud cover can make a big difference to the planet's energy balance.

So, scientists from a range of disciplines, including experts on cloud and solar physics, plan to send a high energy beam representing the cosmic rays into a closely monitored reaction chamber.

The chamber is filled with pure "air", evaporated oxygen and nitrogen produced by a gas system designed by CERN engineers. The scientists say it will be the cleanest air anywhere in the world, and therefore free of many of the other aerosols that are present in the atmosphere.

The beam's effect on aerosol production will be measured and analysed, and the first results are expected in the summer of 2007.

The full experiment will involve an advanced cloud chamber and reaction chamber capable of reproducing the temperature and pressure conditions anywhere in the atmosphere. The chambers will also be equipped with an array of instruments to detect the tiniest details of the physical interactions taking place. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.