Science Seminars

3/12/2009 – Discovery of a New Upper Atmosphere Breathing Mode

Speaker: Jeff Thayer
Date: Thursday, Mar 12, 2009
Time: 4:00pm
Location: LSTB

Seminar Abstract:

Recent satellite measurements have enabled discovery of a recurrent ‘breathing’, or expansion and contraction, of the Earth’s upper atmosphere at periods of several days. Evidence of this ‘breathing’ is found in upper atmospheric density, composition, and in gases responsible for cooling the upper atmosphere. The discovery of multi-day periodicities in the upper atmosphere is shown to be well correlated with solar wind high speed disturbances that originate at the sun. This new solar-terrestrial connection opens the possibility of improving predictions of satellite drag and predictions of the ionospheric behavior.