Feeds

‘Hyperspectral’ camera surprises aurora researchers

41-band snapper spots Northern Lights interacting with airglow

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.” ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.