Feeds

‘Hyperspectral’ camera surprises aurora researchers

41-band snapper spots Northern Lights interacting with airglow

Boost IT visibility and business value

Astronomers from the Kjell Henriksen Observatory at Svalbard have released the first images from the NORUSCA II camera, showing the Northern Lights captured across 41 spectral bands.

NORUSCA II is designed to switch between all of its optical bands “in a matter of microseconds”, explains this announcement. A standard camera with six machine-driven filters wouldn’t be able to keep up.

The idea of the hyperspectral camera is to capture short-lived transient events – and much to the delight of the KJO astronomers, they believe they’ve achieved just that, in the January observation run now made public.

A major Coronal Mass Ejection – solar flare in the vernacular – in January coincided with NORUSCA II's first research campaign, producing a major aurora event that the camera captured. However, while analysing the results, the researchers spotted something unexpected.

Images from the NORUSCA II Camera

Left: composite image using just three of NORUSCA II's spectral bands.

Right: the faint 'airglow' wave (red arrow) compared to the glow of the Milky Way (blue arrow).

Source: The University Center in Svalbard

As well as being able to capture the aurora through a layer of low-altitude clouds, the camera “revealed a very faint wave pattern of unknown origin” in the lower atmosphere. The pattern resembles a phenomenon called “airglow”, faint atmospheric light that can be caused by cosmic radiation or chemical reactions.

Professor Fred Sigernes of the University Center in Svalbard said “we think we saw an auroral-generated wave interaction with airglow. This would be an entirely new phenomenon and if confirmed, would be the first time airglow has been associated with auroras.” ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.