Atmospheric conditions have been great lately at Summit Station, the research station perched high on the Greenland ice sheet. Solar activity and clear sky views have combined to make some memorable photo ops, and as luck would have it, Ed Stockard's been there to capture it. His images have twice been featured in the last 10 days on the home page of Spaceweather.com, a website reporting on the status of the ever-changing relationship between the solar wind (the stream of charged particles emitted from the sun) and Earth's atmosphere. The above picture illustrates Spaceweather's top story for today, in which Ed reports from Summit Station on the sky over Greenland.
"These pictures were taken at our Mobile Science Facility where a project named ICECAPS has several instruments studying Arctic clouds. The experiment's lidars (green laser radars) may be seen lancing up into the auroras. The reds on the snow are reflections from a nearby beacon on a fifty meter tower," Ed writes.
Spaceweather.com predicts that our magnetic field may again be impacted by solar wind activity around October 9. Eyes on the skies, north polar guys!
Meanwhile, visit Ed's flickr page for other great shots of Summit.
To study up on University of Idaho's ICECAPS, Von Walden's cloud study, which Ed mentions in his report, view a summary of the NSF-funded cloud study.--Kip Rithner