PAOC Spotlights


Fri June 17th, 2011
John (Vince) Agard for the Weather & Climate Club
On Friday, December 10th, the Weather and Climate Club sponsored a trip for undergraduate students to MIT’s Haystack Observatory in Westford, MA. There, the club received a presentation from research scientists Dr. Philip Erickson and Dr. Larisa Goncharenko about ongoing research in the field of space weather and its impacts on Earth, including solar-terrestrial interactions, magnetosphere-ionospheric coupling, and climatology of the thermosphere. The group then received a tour of the Millstone Hill Observatory facility, which contains a large Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR) system. The ISR is composed of a 67-meter vertically-directed zenith antenna, as well as a 46-meter fully steerable antenna-- one of the largest in the world. These instruments are used by scientists at Haystack to conduct experiments and gather observations of the composition, movement, and electric fields associated with particles in the ionosphere. The trip was one of a series of trips and lectures typically held about once per semester by the , and it was well-enjoyed by those in attendance.