Posted on January 26, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Giant balloon has circumnavigated Antarctica three times
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Somewhere out in deep space, an as-yet unknown source is producing high-energy cosmic rays that bombard the Earth on a regular basis. After gathering data from a record-setting unmanned balloon flight over Antarctica, NASA scientists hope to better understand where these energetic atomic nuclei are produced and how they achieve their very high energies.
The record-breaking balloon carried an instrument with a name that’s straight out of science fiction comic book, the Super Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder. So far, the balloon has been aloft for 46 days. Taking advantage of the unbroken circumpolar winds, the balloon is on its third orbit around the South Pole.
You can track the balloon on its flight by visiting this page: http://www.csbf.nasa.gov/antarctica/ice.htm and learn more about NASA’s balloon programs here: http://www.wff.nasa.gov/balloons. (more…)
Filed under: Antarctica, climate and weather, Environment | Tagged: Antarctica, balloon, cosmic rays, McMurdo Station, NASA, Wallops Flight Facility | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 3, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Summer missions planned to learn more about storm formation, intensification and the role of dry and dusty Saharan air
Hurricane Igor, left, and Tropical Storm Julia over the Atlantic in Sept. 2010. SATELLITE IMAGE COURTESY NASA.
A NASA Global Hawk drone.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with several government and university partners, NASA will use unmanned aircraft to try and unravel some of the mysteries of hurricane formation and intensification in the Atlantic Basin.
Among other things, the Global Hawk aircraft will study the role of the hot, dry and dusty Saharan air layer in tropical storms. Existing research on how that air mass affects hurricanes has not delivered conclusive results.
The missions will also examine the extent to which deep convection in the inner-core region of storms is a key driver of intensity change or just a response to storms finding favorable sources of energy. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, tropical storms and hurricanes | Tagged: 2012 Hurricane season, Atlantic hurricanes, Global Hawk, Goddard Space Flight Center, hurricane research, Wallops Flight Facility | Leave a Comment »