Space scientists from UNH, working as part of a multi-institutional team, have quantified levels of radiation on the moon’s surface from galactic cosmic ray (GCR) bombardment that over time causes chemical changes in water ice and can create complex carbon chains similar to those that help form the foundations of biological structures. In addition, the radiation process causes the lunar soil, or regolith, to darken over time, which is important in understanding the geologic history of the moon.
With the full sky shimmering in green aurora on Feb. 18, 2012, a team of scientists, including space physicist Marc Lessard and graduate students from UNH’s Space Science Center, launched an instrument-laden, two-stage sounding rocket from the Poker Flat Research Range in Fairbanks, Alaska. The precision measurements from the rocket’s instruments will shed new light on the physical processes that create the northern lights and further our understanding of the complex sun-Earth connection.
Scientists in the Water Systems Analysis Group in the University of New Hampshire’s Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) have been funded by NASA to improve estimates of how melting mountain glaciers around the globe will contribute to sea level rise in the future. The data will be a critical new element in the next assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Scientists and engineers from the UNH Space Science Center (SSC) have been selected to provide instruments for two upcoming satellite missions led by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
The successful proposals draw upon the long history of work done at UNH for other satellite missions, including NASA’s Solar-Terrestrial Observatory (STEREO) that was launched five years ago.
UNH graduate student Matthew Vadeboncoeur was recently awarded a 2011 Switzer Environmental Fellowship by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. The fellowship is one of just 20 awarded this year by the foundation for emerging environmental leaders who are pursuing graduate degrees and are dedicated to working towards positive environmental change in their career work. Fellows, chosen from universities in New England and California, each receive $15,000 to help them complete their degrees.
An interdisciplinary team of scientists from the University of New Hampshire’s Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) new Frontiers in Earth-System Dynamics (FESD) program to support a project that crosses the boundaries between space physics, atmospheric, and ice core science.
Beginning Sunday, September 18, 2011 at NASA’s launch facility in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, space scientists from the University of New Hampshire will attempt to send a balloon up to 130,000 feet with a one-ton instrument payload to measure gamma rays from the Crab Pulsar, the remains of a supernova explosion that lies 6,500 light years from Earth. The launch is highly dependent on weather and wind conditions, and the launch window closes at the end of next week.
The University of New Hampshire has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study changes in land use and conservation around national parks in Africa as part of a larger investigation of tropical deforestation and degradation, which are major causes of global climate change.