Mike Taylor

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Atmospheric gravity waves (GWs) are generated by gravity acting on weather systems effectively causing them to oscillate. These waves can then propagate upwards into the upper atmosphere, where they are observed as they pass through glowing layers of gas, called airglow, in the upper atmosphere at approximately 87 kilometers altitude. Using Physics and a little bit of chemistry we can observe the properties of these waves with special infrared cameras. Combining the data between images taken at the same time but with different filters, we can determine the temperature amplitudes of the waves, important for improving our understanding of their impact on the upper mesosphere, where they often break and deposit their momentum, like waves on a beach. This study uses data from Antarctica to identify GW events for detailed analysis and includes an in-depth look into one spectacular event that happened on the night of the third of August over McMurdo Station (77.5º S) during mid-winter in Antarctica.

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