NASA’s AWE Mission

NASA’s AWE Mission

News: NASA is set to launch the Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE) to investigate how Earth’s weather influences Space weather.

What is AWE mission?
• As part of NASA’s Heliophysics Explorers Program, the AWE mission aims to shed light on the interactions between Earth’s weather and Space weather.
• Mounted on the International Space Station (ISS), AWE will observe Earth’s airglow bands from an exceptional viewpoint.
• AWE will analyze airglow in the mesopause region (about 85-87 km above Earth) to understand AGW behavior and its influence on Space weather.
• The mission includes the Advanced Mesospheric Temperature Mapper (ATMT) to precisely map temperature variations in the mesopause, revealing airglow dynamics.

How do Atmospheric Gravity Waves (AGWs) impact space weather?
• AGWs are similar to ripples caused by a stone thrown into a pond. They are vertical waves generated by sudden atmospheric changes or extreme weather, causing air to move up and down.
• AGWs originate from events like thunderstorms and hurricanes, and they travel from the lower atmosphere to Space, influencing Space weather.
• AGWs are most prominent in stable atmospheric conditions, where they create wave-like patterns due to temperature differences in rising air.
• To fully understand AGWs and their impact on terrestrial and Space weather, detailed data on the atmosphere’s vertical profile is essential.

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