FIRST-EVER HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGES OF EARTH’S AURORAS

Photo: The aurora as seen as a color composite image from the NORUSCA II camera. Three bands were combined to make the image. Each band was assigned a different color — red, green, and blue – to enhance the features of the aurora for analysis.Credit: Optics Express.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Angela Stark
The Optical Society
202.416.1443
astark@osa.org

New camera provides tantalizing clues of new atmospheric phenomenon

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2012—Hoping to expand our understanding of auroras and other fleeting atmospheric events, a team of space-weather researchers designed and built NORUSCA II, a new camera with unprecedented capabilities that can simultaneously image multiple spectral bands, in essence different wavelengths or colors, of light. The camera was tested at the Kjell Henriksen Observatory (KHO) in Svalbard, Norway, where it produced the first-ever hyperspectral images of auroras—commonly referred to as “the Northern (or Southern) Lights”—and may already have revealed a previously unknown atmospheric phenomenon.

Details on the camera and the results from its first images were published today in the Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Optics Express. . . . Read Complete Report

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