UNH and the Southwest Research Institute have signed a 5-year research collaboration agreement. Roy Torbert, UNH professor of physics and director of the UNH Space Science Center, says it "will allow UNH to expand our involvement into larger and more complex space missions, and SwRI will be able to tap into UNH’s expertise to diversify its program into Earth and ocean science.”
SwRI will open a new department — the SwRI Earth, Oceans and Space (SwRI-EOS) Department — at UNH’s Durham, N.H., campus, which will be led by Torbert.
In a paper just published in Nature Physics, an international team of space scientists, including researcher Noé Lugaz in the Space Science Center of the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, explains the mysterious physical mechanisms underlying the origin of sun’s powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs).
Dr. James Ryan and his team in UNH's Space Science Center (SSC) are using his research into neutrons and gamma rays from space to construct the Portable Neutron Spectroscope (NSPECT), a device that will allow authorities to pinpoint from a safe distance materials used to make a nuclear bomb.
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.
Investigators on NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission, including UNH space physicist Eberhard Möbius, David McComas of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), and Priscilla Frisch of the University of Chicago, as well as astronomer Seth Redfield of Wesleyan University, presented the mission findings at a press conference from NASA headquarters in Washington, DC on January 30, 2012 and broadcast via NASA TV at www.nasa.gov/sunearth.
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.
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.