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Noon seminar - Space weather and nighttime lights of the world

Monday, November 14, 2011, 12:00PM - 1:00PM


Bill Denig



ARC room 620

The auroral borealis is a beautiful and awe-inspiring manifestation of solar-terrestrial interactions which is often described in terms of Space Weather. During this talk I will discuss various aspects and impacts of space weather starting within the context of auroral emissions in the near-earth space environment and then working outwards into the terrestrial magnetosphere, interplanetary space and finally the sun. For over 50 years, NOAA has provided space weather services and the Solar & Terrestrial Physics division within the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) has been responsible for stewarding the Nation’s operational space weather data. One aspect of this has been monitoring aurora from space using sensitive while light imagers on polar-orbiting satellites. These data have also been used to provide stunning views of the darkened earth in the form of the famous “Nightime Lights of the World”. While beautiful in and of themselves, these nighttime images of the earth are primarily used by NOAA to monitor national economic prosperity, population migrations over time, and infrastructure impacts of natural and manmade disasters. This noontime seminar will provide a general overview of space weather and of the associated uses of nighttime lights earth imagery.