Here is the latest episode of the Space to Ground weekly report from NASA on activities related to the International Space Station:
*** A brief item about a sediment study underway on the station:
Quantifying Cohesive Sediment Dynamics for Advanced Environmental Modeling (BCAT-CS) focuses on the study of forces between particles that cluster together by studying sediments of quartz and clay particles. By conducting the research aboard the International Space Station (ISS), it is possible to separate the forces acting on the particles over a short range (adhesive forces) versus those acting over a long range (cohesive forces). The quartz/clay system is commonly found in a wide variety of environmental settings (such as rivers, lakes, and oceans) and plays an important role in technological efforts related to deep sea hydrocarbon drilling and carbon dioxide sequestration.
*** A NASA high altitude balloon experiment observed “rare electric blue clouds”:
On the cusp of our atmosphere live a thin group of seasonal electric blue clouds. Read the story: https://go.nasa.gov/2QPcrOD. Forming fifty miles above the poles in summer, these clouds are known as noctilucent clouds or polar mesospheric clouds — PMCs. A recent NASA long-duration balloon mission observed these clouds over the course of five days at their home in the mesosphere. The resulting photos, which scientists have just begun to analyze, will help us better understand turbulence in the atmosphere, as well as in oceans, lakes, and other planetary atmospheres, and may even improve weather forecasting.