facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Mountains emit mesospheric gravity waves

May 7, 2009 at 1:58 PM   |   Comments

BOSTON, May 7 (UPI) -- A U.S. study suggests wind blowing over mountain ranges can generate gravity waves that propagate vertically into Earth's upper mesosphere.

Researchers said such waves, known as mountain waves, have previously been observed low in the atmosphere. But Steven Smith, Jeffrey Baumgardner and Michael Mendillo of the Center for Space Physics at Boston University said their research has produced the first unambiguous images of mountain gravity waves in the upper mesosphere -- 50 to 62.5 miles in altitude.

The scientists said they observed the gravity waves using all-sky images from the El Leoncito Observatory in Argentina. They said they observed a large series of stationary waves spanning a 6.9-mile range.

The researchers said the large band-like waves lasted several hours each night and did not propagate across the sky -- features that distinguish mountain waves from other types of atmospheric disturbances.

The study appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Topics: Steven Smith
© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Newfoundland fossil is earliest evidence of muscled animals
2
Obama's plan calls for computer chip implants to help soldiers heal
3
Study: gamblers' brains not unlike those of pigeons
4
Washington State's Elwha River flows free once again
5
Tech industry All Stars developing 'Star Trek'-style communication badges
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback