Follow the Rad-Sat project on Twitter and Facebook for science updates.
Member of the Rad-Sat team have shared information about the project to a range of stakeholders, government and the public through a number of events and activities:
Press and Media
Recent work from the Rad-Sat project has shown that satellites are more at risk from fast solar wind than a major space storm. ““Fast solar wind is more dangerous to satellites because the geomagnetic field extends beyond geostationary orbit and electron radiation levels are increased all the way round the orbit – in a major geomagnetic storm the field is distorted and radiation levels peak closer to the Earth”. See the press release for the study here.
Professor Richard Horne, of the British Antarctic Survey, gave an interview on space weather for a BBC science documentary which was broadcast over Christmas 2017.
Space weather research received a boost with a £20m fund announced by the UK Prime Minister in September 2019. The £20m nearly quadruples investment from government into research that can improve systems at the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre. The funding comes through the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund in response to a bid led by STFC and British Antarctic Survey for NERC. Further details can be found via the press release on the BAS Website.
Sounds of Space
Nigel Meredith, of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), has undertaken a science and art collaboration focusing on the ‘sounds of space’; a project celebrating radio emissions naturally produced by our planet that can be detected both in space and on the ground. These waves are a form of electromagnetic radiation and can not be heard directly, but have been converted to audio files using software. For more information, and to listen to the ‘sounds of space’, see the BAS website.
A new and immersive performance of the ‘sounds of space’ was showcased at Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington, on Friday 25 October, 2019 as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas. You can read an article from the Astronomy & Geophysics Forum about the performance here.
The ‘sounds of space’ from Halley have also been incorporated into the new exploration gameplay in Elite Dangerous: Beyond – Chapter 4. In this unique collaboration Nigel Meredith worked with Frontier Developments, the creators of Elite Dangerous, to incorporate the eerie sounds into the new gameplay. In any one of over 400 billion stellar systems, players can now use a new analysis mode to discover more about their surroundings. The new mode, called the Full Spectrum System Scanner, features the simulated sounds of radio emissions from exoplanets in remote stellar systems based on the Halley VLF recordings.
A further Elite Dangerous live stream via YouTube featuring Nigel Meredith discussing how sounds are heard and captured from space, and how they are used in Elite Dangerous can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdEvVx8LDs8
June 2020 – An update to the Sounds of Space. There is now a new album available, Aurora Musicalis: https://soundsofspaceproject.bandcamp.com
The album, called Aurora Musicalis, features the ‘sounds’ from the VLF receiver at Halley with original music. The new work allows us to hear the ‘sounds of space’ accompanied by Kim Cunio’s original music played on a grand piano. The complete 90 minute work comprises 11 tracks revealing the diurnal variations of the audio frequency signals, collected from Halley in one day with piano music also put together in one day. The album also includes a 3-minute compilation, sonic highlights from the 24 hour period, set to the music of the opening track and the highlights on their own so that artists and musicians can have the opportunity to create their own musical or visual response to the raw Halley ‘sounds’. We also have a music video, by Diana Scarborough, featuring the sonic highlights accompanied by some beautiful Antarctic imagery from the BAS image collection (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=ppuhfUky9iI&feature=emb_logo).
More information about Sounds of Space and the new album can also be found here: https://www.bas.ac.uk/media-post/aurora-musicalis/
PhD student Sarah Bentley has written an informative blog post for Reading University’s SocialMetwork blog explaining how plasma from the solar wind enters the Earth’s magnetosphere. Find it here.
Ever wondered what solar wind properties drive ultra low frequency waves in the magnetosphere? Sarah Bentley explores the topic on Reading University’s Social Metwork blog.
Talks to schools
Clare Watt, of the University of Reading, is actively engaged in bringing science to schools – helping school children learn about the science of the radiation belts. Most recently, on the 20th April 2018, Clare gave a Q&A session on space hazards and space travel to a Year 5 class at Farley Hill Primary School in Berkshire.
Jasmine Sandhu is leading Original Research By Young Twinkle Students (ORBYTS). A GCSE/A-level school project on multi-point measurements of the plasmapause (with Lancaster and Leicester) 2019-2020.
Public talks and lectures
Nigel Meredith gave a public lecture at Cambridge Science festival showing the sounds of space – recordings of waves from the magnetosphere converted into audio files.
Clare Watt took part in a “Pint of Science” event in Reading on 15th May 2018. She gave a talk to adults with a scientific interest.
Sam Walton has given Chesterfield Astronomical Society and Three Counties Astronomical Society outreach talks on space weather.
Frances Staples gave a talk and Q&A session at the Royal Institution on 20th July 2019 exploring 60 years of scientific discovery since the realisation of radiation hazards in space. Watch it here: