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Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Distant World Gives Clues On Planets

January 29, 2014 Leave a comment

Studies of weather on a distant world – where it rains molten iron – could aid our understanding other solar systems.

Edinburgh researchers have helped map the surface of a brown dwarf – an object larger than a planet and smaller than a star – for the first time.

Scientists say the methods used in their study could eventually be applied to examine small, cool planets in other solar systems.

Link To Full Story

Mars Water-Ice Clouds Are Key To Odd Thermal Rhythm


Researchers using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have found that temperatures in the Martian atmosphere regularly rise and fall not just once each day, but twice.

“We see a temperature maximum in the middle of the day, but we also see a temperature maximum a little after midnight,” said Armin Kleinboehl of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., who is the lead author of a new report on these findings.

Temperatures swing by as much as 58 degrees Fahrenheit (32 kelvins) in this odd, twice-a-day pattern, as detected by the orbiter’s Mars Climate Sounder instrument.

The new set of Mars Climate Sounder observations sampled a range of times of day and night all over Mars. The observations found that the pattern is dominant globally and year-round. The report is being published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-201

Space Weather Warnings for Earth & Forecasts for Exoplanets

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

The UK Met Office’s weather and climate model is being adapted to help understand space weather at Earth and the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars. Two teams of scientists will present their work at the National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester.

The Met Office plans to expand its services to provide operational space weather forecasts for the UK. It is pooling skills with the UK’s space weather research community to extend its ‘Unified Model’ upwards to include the Earth’s thermosphere, a region about 90-600km above the Earth surface. The impact of space weather events is very commonly seen in this region.

“Space weather can affect the aviation and power industries, as well as a whole range of activities that rely on GPS timing and positioning, radio communication or satellite-based observations,” said the Met Office’s Dr David Jackson, who will present the project on Friday 30th March.

“To develop a more accurate and useful advanced-warning system for space weather, we need to develop a system of interconnected models that describe the whole domain – the conditions on the Sun, interplanetary space, the layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, all the way down to the Earth’s surface. The more accurate we can be in representing interactions between the lower atmosphere and thermosphere, the more we can enhance thermospheric forecasts, and thus improve space weather forecast products for users,” Jackson continued.

Full Story: http://www.jodrellbank.manchester.ac.uk/meetings/nam2012/pressreleases/nam13.html

Astronomers Find Extreme Weather on an Alien World

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Credit: Art by Jon Lomberg

Credit: Art by Jon Lomberg

A University of Toronto-led team of astronomers has observed extreme brightness changes on a nearby brown dwarf that may indicate a storm grander than any seen yet on a planet. Because old brown dwarfs and giant planets have similar atmospheres, this finding could shed new light on weather phenomena of extra-solar planets.

As part of a large survey of nearby brown dwarfs – objects that occupy the mass gap between dwarf stars and giant planets – the scientists used an infrared camera on the 2.5m telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile to capture repeated images of a brown dwarf dubbed 2MASS J21392676+0220226, or 2MASS 2139 for short, over several hours. In that short time span, they recorded the largest variations in brightness ever seen on a cool brown dwarf.

Full Story: http://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/main/media-releases/astronomers-find-extreme-weather-on-an-alien-world

Forecasting Sunspots Breakthrough

August 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Imagine forecasting a hurricane in Miami weeks before the storm was even a swirl of clouds off the coast of Africa—or predicting a tornado in Kansas from the flutter of a butterfly’s wing in Texas. These are the kind of forecasts meteorologists can only dream about.

Could the dream come true? A new study by Stanford researchers suggests that such forecasts may one day be possible—not on Earth, but on the sun.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/sunspot-breakthru.html