MARQUETTE - David Donovan, a physics professor at Northern Michigan University, will present "The Northern Lights: Is There Science Amongst the Beauty?" on Friday, Feb. 1. The program begins at 3:10 p.m. in Gries Hall room 167.

The Northern Lights is part of a group of phenomena often called "Space Weather," which is the study of what is occurring between the surface of the sun and the upper parts of the earth's atmosphere.

This region of the space has become increasingly important as technology expands our presence there. Thousands of satellites orbit the Earth. These include communications satellites, Global Positioning Satellites (GPS), weather satellites, and "spy" satellites. All are constantly affected by Space Weather.

NMU has an all-sky camera, funded by a National Science Foundation grant, which has been used for the last three years to study optical data relating to Northern Light - Aurora Borealis - activity. During his Winter 2001 sabbatical, Donovan began to share data with other Space Weather researchers at Comell University, Boston University, the U.S. Air Force Research Labs and MIT. This sharing of data has begun to produce more questions than answers. Still, the U.S. government and others are keenly interested in this region of space.

Donovan's presentation is part of the "Discourses from the Academy" colloquium series sponsored by the NMU psychology department. For more information, call 227-2935.

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director