Feeds

‘Hyperspectral’ camera surprises aurora researchers

41-band snapper spots Northern Lights interacting with airglow

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?