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The lightning and elves experiment in Columbia was recreated again at the space station with the assistance of Prof. Yoav Yair

Prof. Yair who participated in the MEIDEX experiment provided a forecast to the Japanese space agency, and the Japanese astronaut on the space station photographed lightning storms from orbit according to them, in one case even live

Satoshi Furukawa, the Japanese astronaut member of the 29th crew of the International Space Station
Satoshi Furukawa, the Japanese astronaut member of the 29th crew of the International Space Station

One of the main experiments in the framework of the MEIDEX project - photographing lightning and sprites (a kind of electrical storm that comes out of the lightning storm upwards, has been recreated several times recently and in one of the cases - last week the reconstruction was conducted with a live HD camera, by Japanese TV.
A few months ago, Prof. Yoav Yair from the Open University, who headed the MEIDEX project, received a request from the Japanese Space Agency to assist the Japanese Broadcasting Authority in preparing a series to be filmed from the International Space Station with a huge resolution camera, in full color and in HD. The photo from space was taken by Satoshi Furukawa, the Japanese astronaut who is currently aboard the International Space Station.

"Among other things, the program THE COSMIC SHORE dealt with the elf phenomenon which Ilan Ramon and his friends on the Columbia shuttle were investigating at the time. I was asked to repeat the method of forecasting that I used in MEIDEX, a day in advance of where there was going to be a lightning storm, and the Japanese astronaut pointed the cameras in the predicted direction. We did it every month of July and August then we stopped at their request. The last time last Sunday they did a live broadcast from the space station, including a live broadcast of lightning storms from space that I gave them the day before."

How did you make the forecast?

We used the forecast of lightning storms and areas of stormy weather issued by AWC - AVIATION WEHEATER CENTER. They provide maps every six hours with a 24-hour forecast so airlines and captains know how to avoid entering areas of stormy weather. We know that only a certain type of cloud also causes lightning, and from these maps we mapped the strongest storms in which there are cumulonimbus clouds above 50 thousand feet (14-15 kilometers high), according to my work and that of Baruch Ziv, which we already published in 2002, we used the forecast This is Columbia time and I repeated this combat theory to the Japanese space agency as well."

What are the differences between then and now?

"Today, unprecedented data from WWLLN - WORLD WIDE LIGNHINHG LOCATION NETWROK is published, which allows me to also know if I was right in the forecast. They post where lightning has been in real time. I cross-referenced the forecast with real-time maps and could be much more confident in the correctness of the forecast. "

According to Prof. Yair, Furukawa was able to photograph both lightning and lightning sprites for the first time in full color from space in high resolution, nevertheless he had much better cameras than ours because more than ten years have passed since we purchased the equipment for the MEIDEX experiment.

"The Japanese also treated the project in a respectful and emotional way and asked me and Marona Ramon to write a letter to Furukawa. They gave the letter to the astronaut before he was launched and he wrote us a reply letter which is a huge pride and honor for him to be able to continue the Columbia mission and he succeeded, as we did in 2003."

"It should be noted that a company "specialist" של Parina index, helps us calculate the station's routes for the forecast."


to a clip from the movie

4 תגובות

  1. A question to my father that I didn't know the answer to, how many astronauts are currently on the space station

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