Monday, 18 April 2011

Atmospheric research at Kilpisjärvi — Part 1

Despite what one might think, KAIRA is definitely not the first atmospheric or astronomical project to be established in the Kilpisjärvi area. For the next few days, we'll be featuring a multi-part series on the other instrumentation located in the region. Thanks go to Tero Raita for providing the text and photographs.

Kilpisjärvi has long history of over 30 years of scientific observation, mostly related to the Northern Lights and ionospheric processes. The Finnish Meteorological Institute has operated an all-sky camera in Kilpisjärvi since 1978. Combined with other all-sky cameras in the region, it has given good statistical information about the occurrence of the Aurorae Borealis throughout Northern Finland.

Measurements of absolute luminous intensity of the aurora emissions by photometers over winter periods started in 1979 in co-operation with the Swedish and the Canadian scientific communities. Meridian scanning and zenith photometers, developed by Department of Physics, University of Oulu, have been used in Kilpisjärvi since 1986. Also aurora TV-cameras and recently developed digital spectrograms are used today to monitor aurora processes.

The scientific observatory at Kilpisjärvi. In the background,
you can see the Saana mountain. (Photo: Tero Raita)

We'll continue with a more detailed description of some of the instruments tomorrow.

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