Journal Highlights

New research on the ionosphere, our interface to space

Press conference from AGU Fall Meeting 2016 by Bob Robinson, Delores Knipp, and Scott England—

Where Earth's atmosphere ends and space begins is not clear-cut. We are, in fact, surrounded by a swath that is a bit of both. This area, the ionosphere, is where radio waves and satellite signals, like GPS, travel on their way to and from Earth. It’s also where you will find aurora, some satellites, and the international space station. Changes in this region can have huge effects on Earth, disrupting communications and shortening the lifetime of satellites. This press event will describe novel findings about the ionosphere and upper atmosphere, shedding light on how exactly space weather here can influence Earth and satellites. Additionally, attendees will hear details from another scientist about two upcoming NASA missions to study the ionosphere from different vantage points. More

Editors’ Highlight—Nitric oxide is a trace constituent in the thermosphere that acts as a cooling agent via infrared emissions. This study of nearly 200 geomagnetic storm events shows how such infra-red emissions from nitric oxide can sometimes counter the heating of the thermosphere. This has practical implications for people managing low-Earth orbit satellite operations, including collision avoidance and re-entry.