Thursday, June 30, 2005

Kick-off for preparations for EuroSprite2005!

During the CAL Mid-Term Review & Science Meeting in Elounda on Crete last week, junior scientists have determined the schedule and tasks for the preparation of the EuroSprite 2005 observational campaign. Between roughly July 15th and September 15th, cameras installed at Pic du Midi in the French Pyrenees (2877 m) and Puy de Dôme in the Massif Central (1464 m) will be remotely operated by scientists of the team.

The cameras will be pointed over large thunderstorms to hopefully catch images of sprites, jets and elves: brief discharges between the troposphere and the ionosphere, of which their cause and their effects on the global system are currently not well known. Each location carries a wide-field camera, a photometer for high-speed luminosity measurements, and 7-degree field of view telephoto cameras to show more details of streamers. Software will automatically save video frames when a flash is detected.

At the same time, infrasound and electromagnetic waves emitted by lightning and sprites will be recorded at various locations in Europe and even in other parts of the world.
Be sure to check this blog regularly. And stay alert if you see a distant thunderstorm - you might see sprites yourself! We all hope you will enjoy your visit!