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Laboratory News

Notes from the Field Blog: Ambushing the Aurora

Like the isbjørn (polar bears), we are ambush hunters. Our prey are atmospheric fountains, jets of gas being shot into space under the impact of the cusp aurora.

Notes from the Field: Night Life

Without the regular rising and setting of the Sun to bring a sense of duration, the long winter nights in Ny-Ålesund can seem timeless.

Notes from the Field: Going to the Top of the World to Touch the Sky

We have journeyed to Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, the northernmost town in the world, so that we can touch the sky.
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The Ionosphere, Thermosphere, Mesosphere Physics Laboratory works to understand the complex dynamics and chemistry of the middle and upper atmosphere (above 50 km altitude), including its internal dynamics, electrodynamics, and chemistry, and also its tight coupling to the magnetosphere and lower atmosphere, as well as its response to variations in direct solar forcing. Our research expands knowledge of our home planet, including a region that is the “home” of space weather effects. Our research uses this accessible natural laboratory to study fundamental phenomena of rarefied gases, plasma-gas interactions, and plasma electrodynamics that are universal and apply to bodies in our Solar System as well as exoplanets.

We conceive, develop, and support missions to observe gas and plasma dynamics throughout this region. The Laboratory develops improved instrumentation, theoretical models, and data analysis techniques to investigate neutral and electrodynamic processes. We establish and support partnerships throughout the international science community, communicating research results, and providing data access and analysis techniques and tools.

Contact Us

General inquiries about the scientific programs at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center may be directed to the Center Office of Communications at 1.301.286.8955.

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