Science Seminars

Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) Mission and Initial Science Results

Speaker: Richard Eastes (CU/LASP)
Date: Thursday, Oct 17, 2019
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: SPSC W120

Seminar Abstract:

Understanding and predicting the rapid, global changes that occur in the Earth’s thermosphere-ionosphere (T-I) system has been a challenge since before the space age. Most of the observations of this system are either ground based and lack a global context, or they are from low Earth orbiting satellites, which provide coverage at an approximately daily cadence. From these the climatology in the T-I system of Earth is understood. Advancing beyond climatology to weather in the T-I system becomes ever more important as capabilities in navigation and communications, as well as our dependence on them advance. An unprecedented NASA mission, Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD), began observing the Earth’s T-I system at “weather” time scales in October 2018. This mission flew an ultraviolet, spectrograph imager on the SES-14 satellite.  Observations by this imager provide synoptic, global-scale views of the evolution of the thermosphere to geomagnetic storms and of large-scale atmospheric gravity waves in the daytime thermosphere. Nighttime observations are providing new insights into the evolution of F2 peak electron densities (NmF2) in the Equatorial Ionization Anomaly (EIA) as well as the prevalence of ionospheric density depletions within the EIA and to magnetic conjugate effects at higher latitudes.