Analyzing gravity waves at the edge of space

Analyzing gravity waves at the edge of space
An image taken from the International Space Station shows orange swaths of airglow hovering in Earth’s atmosphere. NASA’s new Atmospheric Waves Experiment will observe this airglow from a perch on the space station to help scientists understand, and ultimately improve forecasts of, space weather changes in the upper atmosphere. Credit: NASA

Jeff Forbes is working on a research project slated for the International Space Station (ISS) to help us better understand and forecast conditions on the edge of space.

NASA is funding the Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE) to analyze gravity (or "buoyancy") waves in a region of the upper atmosphere that can cause disruptions in radio and satellite communications as well as GPS—key tools for safe airplane and ship travel.

From its International Space Station perch, AWE will focus on colorful emissive layers in Earth's atmosphere, called airglow, to determine what combination of forces drive weather in the upper atmosphere.

This region was once thought to be affected only by the sun's ultraviolet light and particles, but more recent analyses have shown that gravity waves generated by weather patterns on Earth are also having an impact.

"A lot of energy and momentum from ground weather—thunderstorms, hurricanes, etc. – gets transferred up to this area. It's the intersection of space weather and Earth weather," said Forbes, a professor emeritus and research professor in the Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, who is serving as deputy principal investigator for the project.

Past investigations into the phenomenon have been conducted, but mostly from the ground looking up.

"On the ground, you can only take measurements on cloudless nights, and only within the small area of the sky directly above the equipment. Looking down from ISS, in four days we can paint a picture of 85 percent of the globe," Forbes said.

The lead organization for the project is Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory, where the technology was first developed for ground-based use by AWE Principal Investigator, Physics Professor Michael Taylor of USU's Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences. Taylor, Forbes, and their teams are now working to adapt it for operations in space.

Once launched, the AWE equipment will allow for the creation of a global map of gravity wave characteristics and how those waves correspond to ground-based sources like tropical storms and convection. These dovetail with other NASA missions such as the Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk, or GOLD, which launched in January 2018, and the upcoming Ionospheric Explorer—both of which seek to unravel different aspects of how terrestrial weather and space interact.

The experiment is expected to launch in late 2022 and will be in operation mounted to the outside of the ISS for two years. NASA is providing $42 million for the project.

The team will be conducting research with the data it collects, but they will not be the only ones with access—all of the information will be open for analysis by the worldwide scientific community.

"All data will be publicly available within a few months of collection on a NASA database," Forbes said. "Our job is to produce the science we're interested in, to understand these waves and their role, but we're not doing all of the science. Others will be able to use it for their own research as well."


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NASA selects mission to study space weather from space station

Citation: Analyzing gravity waves at the edge of space (2019, July 30) retrieved 23 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-gravity-edge-space.html
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Jul 30, 2019
Eventually we will find out, the edge of the universe is a continuous big bang. Please see The Mass, Size, and Equilibrium Density of the Universe in a Rotating Universe

Jul 30, 2019
Eventually we will find out, the edge of the universe is a continuous big bang. Please see The Mass, Size, and Equilibrium Density of the Universe in a Rotating Universe


Why did you troll this, it is not even risible since it does not make sense?

There is no "edge" to the universe since space observably obeys general relativity. Big bang was an era that the universe briefly passed 14 billion years ago, we have seen that too. Moreover, since we observed the CMB at enough resolution, we could see that the universe is not rotating. For all of this (except the "no edge" result, since it is a trivial consequence) see the Planck Legacy Archive latest paper on cosmological parameters [ https://pla.esac.esa.int/ ].

Jul 30, 2019
Eventually we will find out, the edge of the universe is a continuous big bang. Please see The Mass, Size, and Equilibrium Density of the Universe in a Rotating Universe


There is no "edge" to the universe since space observably obeys general relativity. Big bang was an era that the universe briefly passed 14 billion years ago, we have seen that too. Moreover, since we observed the CMB at enough resolution, we could see that the universe is not rotating. [ https://pla.esac.esa.int/ ].


One cannot see the rotation because we would need a point outside of our universe as a reference point to mark rotation. The biggest argument for forces outside of our universe is the supposed change in the rate of expansion of the universe. This is actually gravity from adjacent universes creating an addition to redshift. It is called gravitational redshift. And since when is providing more information trolling. Scientists are the worst people when it comes to free speech.

Jul 30, 2019
@NotCopernicus

Your opinion is not science, and free speech has nothing to do with it.

Jul 30, 2019
These are not gravitational waves like the ones LIGO detects. These are gravity waves, that is, pressure waves, in the atmosphere.

Jul 30, 2019
There is no "edge" to the universe since space observably obeys general relativity.
......then you don't know ANYTHING about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, ENTROPY. It is Entropy that "obeys general relativity" & vice versa, one does not exist without the other.......quit trolling.

Jul 30, 2019
There is no "edge" to the universe since space observably obeys general relativity.
......then you don't know ANYTHING about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, ENTROPY. It is Entropy that "obeys general relativity" & vice versa, one does not exist without the other.......quit trolling.
What are you guys afraid of? Why the insults calling me a troll? Technically there is no edge of the sun or earth either. Their affects go on forever. Why are you afraid of discussion. One has to define what the universe is. The old definition of everything that there is, is not adequate because technically the multiverse is the universe by definition of the universe.

Jul 30, 2019
This has nothing to do with the universe (except as Earth is part of it). It's about gravity waves in the atmosphere of Earth. Nothing else.

Sigh. Trolls gonna troll, and generally don't read the article (usually because they can't understand it).

Jul 30, 2019
This has nothing to do with the universe (except as Earth is part of it). It's about gravity waves in the atmosphere of Earth. Nothing else.

Sigh. Trolls gonna troll, and generally don't read the article (usually because they can't understand it).
Gravitational waves are going to be used to study the Hubble constant and will measure the Hubble constant at many distances so that a curve of the Hubble constant vs the distance from earth by time at the speed of light. So it is relevant.

Jul 30, 2019
But this article isn't about gravitational waves. It's about gravity waves, an entirely different thing.

https://en.wikipe...ity_wave

Jul 30, 2019
But this article isn't about gravitational waves. It's about gravity waves, an entirely different thing.

https://en.wikipe...ity_wave


Thanks for the clarification!

Jul 31, 2019
Eventually we will find out, the edge of the universe is a continuous big bang. Please see The Mass, Size, and Equilibrium Density of the Universe in a Rotating Universe


the universe doesn't rotate.

Jul 31, 2019
"to determine what combination of forces drive space weather in the upper atmosphere."

it is interesting as our technology advances
gifting us with more & better quality of data

to discover a multitude of differing effects of planetary gravitational attraction

yep, Gravity rules!
E/M drools...

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