GOLD Webinars

GOLD Science Communications Webinars are virtual gatherings of GOLD team members involved in bringing the science and engineering of the mission to the public. The purpose of the webinars is to offer a unique perspective on the mission to those interested in GOLD and NASA heliophysics science generally, so that we can keep the public updated on the latest data from GOLD, as well as the science related to NASA’s exploration of the near-Earth space environment.

By sharing information, resources, and experiences, participants in these virtual gatherings will be connected to the mission in a unique way and take part in this valuable opportunity to engage with the mission and with each other.

GOLD Science Communications Webinars

February 28, 2018Unprecedented Imaging of Earth’s Space Environment from Geostationary Orbit
Presenter: GOLD Principal Investigator, Richard Eastes
When: 1 PM PT (4 PM ET)
Where:; Or via phone: US: 1 (646) 558-8656 or 1 (669) 900-6833; (Meeting ID: 422 303 3278)

NASA’s Global Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk, or GOLD, mission launched successfully on January 25, 2018, as a hosted payload on SES-14, a commercial communications satellite that will operate in geostationary orbit.

Join GOLD Principal Investigator, Richard Eastes, to learn how the GOLD instrument—an ultraviolet imaging spectrograph—will capture unprecedented images of the Earth and provide valuable insight into how the near-space environment responds to inputs from the Sun above and the lower atmosphere below.

Full description:
NASA’s GOLD mission successfully launched an ultraviolet (UV), imaging spectrograph on January 25, 2018. The imager is a hosted payload on SES-14, a commercial communications satellite, which is being placed into a geostationary orbit. This orbit allows the imager to stay above one location, over eastern South America at 47.5 degrees west longitude, near the mouth of the Amazon River, when it reaches its planned location.

GOLD is the first NASA science mission to fly as a hosted payload on a commercial communications satellite. The imager will scan the full disk at a 30-minute cadence, making spectral images of Earth’s UV emission from 132 to 162 nm, as well as observations of the Earth’s limb.

Data from the GOLD instrument will be used to derive fundamental parameters for the neutral and ionized space environment, including the composition ratio (O/N2) and temperature of the neutral atmosphere on the dayside disk. GOLD will also obtain images of peak electron densities in the low latitude ionosphere on the nightside.

Signals from geostationary satellites to users in most of the United States pass through this same region of the ionosphere, and ionospheric disturbances can cause a loss of the signals. From geostationary orbit, GOLD’s imager can repeatedly view the same geographic locations over most of the hemisphere at a cadence comparable to that of changes in the thermosphere-ionosphere (T-I) system. The imager’s 30-minute cadence and hemispheric coverage will allow the GOLD mission to track changes due to geomagnetic storms, variations in solar extreme ultraviolet radiation, and forcing from the lower atmosphere.

In addition to providing a new perspective by being able to repeatedly observe the same hemisphere at a high cadence, GOLD’s simultaneous measurements of composition and temperatures across the disk will provide a valuable, new parameter for understanding how the near-space environment responds to forcing from both the Sun and the lower atmosphere.