We have been hard at work since the last update, so it has been a while since I’ve posted. Last November, we first noted some strange results in our lidar signal, showing aerosols (suspended particles) from around 15-25 km in the air. This is higher than most clouds, but was out of season for when we typically see Polar Stratospheric Clouds. We kept an eye on these, and they continued to grow in strength and occurrence rate as the season progressed.

One of the earlier observations of stratospheric aerosols in our data from this season

Now that it is June, we are seeing such strong clouds that we are even losing out on the data above those clouds, as the laser has the first travel through them, and then the photon signals must return back to our telescopes, passing through the clouds again. We continue to record these observations as they occur, and are looking forward to processing them alongside other observations and models to investigate them further!

Aerosol observations showing both discrete aerosols and a strong PSC which was pretty typical for June on the STAR lidar system

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