Feeds

‘Hyperspectral’ camera surprises aurora researchers

41-band snapper spots Northern Lights interacting with airglow

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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.” ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
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
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
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.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.