417 research outputs found

    Lidar measurements of thermal structure

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    Rayleigh backscatter observations at 532 nm and 355 nm of relative atmospheric density above Aberystwyth on a total of 93 nights between Dec. 1982 and Feb. 1985 were used to derive the height variation of temperature in the upper stratosphere and mesosphere. Preliminary results for height up to about 25 km were also obtained from observations of Raman backscattering from nitrogen molecules. Comparisons were carried out for stratospheric heights with satellite borne measurements; good agreement was found between equivalent black body temperatures derived from the lidar observations and those obtained from nadir measurements in three channels of the stratosphere sounder units on NOAA satellites; the lidar based atmospheric temperatures have shown general agreement with but a greater degree of structure than the limb sounding measurements obtained using the SAMS experiment on the NOAA-7 satellite. In summer, stratospheric and mesospheric temperatures showed a smooth height variation similar to that of the CIRA model atmosphere. In contrast, the winter data showed a great variability with height, and marked temperature changes both from night to night and within a given night

    Stratospheric aerosol measurements by dual polarisation lidar

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    International audienceWe present measurements of stratospheric aerosol made at Aberystwyth, UK (52.4° N, 4.06° W) during periods of background aerosol conditions. The measurements were made with a lidar system based on a 532 nm laser and two polarisation channels in the receiver. When stratospheric aerosol amounts are very small, as at present, this method is, potentially, free of a number of systematic errors that bedevil more commonly-used methods. The method rests on the assumption that the aerosol consists of spherical droplets which do not depolarise the lidar signal, which is valid under most conditions. Maximum lidar ratios in background aerosol of 1.03?1.06 were measured during the period 2001?2004, with integrated backscatter in the range 2?7×10?5sr?1. In January 2003, depolarising aerosol was measured, which invalidated the dual-polarisation measurements. On 10?11 January, the depolarising aerosol was clearly a polar stratospheric cloud (the first lidar observations of such clouds in the British Isles) but the aerosol observed on 7?8 January was too low in altitude and too warm to be a PSC

    A model of Mira's cometary head/tail entering the Local Bubble

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    We model the cometary structure around Mira as the interaction of an AGB wind from Mira A, and a streaming environment. Our simulations introduce the following new element: we assume that after 200 kyr of evolution in a dense environment Mira entered the Local Bubble (low density coronal gas). As Mira enters the bubble, the head of the comet expands quite rapidly, while the tail remains well collimated for a 100 kyr timescale. The result is a broad-head/narrow-tail structure that resembles the observed morphology of Mira's comet. The simulations were carried out with our new adaptive grid code WALICXE, which is described in detail.Comment: 12 pages, 8 figures (4 in color). Accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journa

    Cognitive performance in light current users and ex-users of ecstasy (MDMA) and controls

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    Previous research has shown that heavy users of ecstasy may suffer impaired cognitive functioning, and the present study set out to investigate whether such impairment might also be found in light users or ex-users of ecstasy. Sixty subjects, comprising 20 current light users, 20 ex-users, and 20 non-users of ecstasy, were tested on an extensive battery of cognitive tests. Current light users of ecstasy achieved significantly lower scores on the overall cognitive test battery than did the non-users (p=0.011), though there were no significant differences on any individual subtests. However, the scores obtained by the ex-users of ecstasy did not differ significantly from those of the non-users. It was concluded that current light users of ecstasy show a small but significant cognitive impairment, but that no such impairment is detectable in ex-users who had abstained from the drug for at least 6 months

    Olive phenology as a sensitive indicator of future climatic warming in the Mediterranean

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    Experimental and modelling work suggests a strong dependence of olive flowering date on spring temperatures. Since airborne pollen concentrations reflect the flowering phenology of olive populations within a radius of 50 km, they may be a sensitive regional indicator of climatic warming. We assessed this potential sensitivity with phenology models fitted to flowering dates inferred from maximum airborne pollen data. Of four models tested, a thermal time model gave the best fit for Montpellier, France, and was the most effective at the regional scale, providing reasonable predictions for 10 sites in the western Mediterranean. This model was forced with replicated future temperature simulations for the western Mediterranean from a coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation model (GCM). The GCM temperatures rose by 4·5 °C between 1990 and 2099 with a 1% per year increase in greenhouse gases, and modelled flowering date advanced at a rate of 6·2 d per °C. The results indicated that this long-term regional trend in phenology might be statistically significant as early as 2030, but with marked spatial variation in magnitude, with the calculated flowering date between the 1990s and 2030s advancing by 3–23 d. Future monitoring of airborne olive pollen may therefore provide an early biological indicator of climatic warming in the Mediterranean

    The detached dust shells of AQ And, U Ant, and TT Cyg

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    Detached circumstellar dust shells are detected around three carbon variables using Herschel-PACS. Two of them are already known on the basis of their thermal CO emission and two are visible as extensions in IRAS imaging data. By model fits to the new data sets, physical sizes, expansion timescales, dust temperatures, and more are deduced. A comparison with existing molecular CO material shows a high degree of correlation for TT Cyg and U Ant but a few distinct differences with other observables are also found.Comment: Letter accepted for publication on the A&A Herschel Special Issu

    X Her and TX Psc: Two cases of ISM interaction with stellar winds observed by Herschel

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    The asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars X Her and TX Psc have been imaged at 70 and 160 microns with the PACS instrument onboard the Herschel satellite, as part of the large MESS (Mass loss of Evolved StarS) Guaranteed Time Key Program. The images reveal an axisymmetric extended structure with its axis oriented along the space motion of the stars. This extended structure is very likely to be shaped by the interaction of the wind ejected by the AGB star with the surrounding interstellar medium (ISM). As predicted by numerical simulations, the detailed structure of the wind-ISM interface depends upon the relative velocity between star+wind and the ISM, which is large for these two stars (108 and 55 km/s for X Her and TX Psc, respectively). In both cases, there is a compact blob upstream whose origin is not fully elucidated, but that could be the signature of some instability in the wind-ISM shock. Deconvolved images of X Her and TX Psc reveal several discrete structures along the outermost filaments, which could be Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices. Finally, TX Psc is surrounded by an almost circular ring (the signature of the termination shock?) that contrasts with the outer, more structured filaments. A similar inner circular structure seems to be present in X Her as well, albeit less clearly.Comment: 11 pages, Astronomy & Astrophysics, in pres
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