KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 12
A Nepali student working at the University of Alaska Geophysical Institute, Rajan Itani, has made an honourable contribution through his study related to the behavior of wind in the Earth's upper atmosphere.
The paper authored by Itani and co-authored by Space physicist Mark Conde received a special attention in the American Geophysical Union magazine Eos, a leading science news magazine.
Itani, who went to University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in 2016, hails from the Jwalamukhi Rural Municipality in Dhading district.
He is currently pursuing a doctorate in physics at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.
"It is a proud moment in my career in space physics, as it marks my first paper being promoted. I am thankful to my adviser, Dr Mark Conde, for suggesting the research topic and for his endless support and encouragement," Itani said.
Through his paper, which was published in September in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Itani confirmed that the "cross-polar jet, a well-known wind in the upper atmosphere, sometimes inexplicably stops or is deflected or reversed when it reaches the region above Alaska".
The study concentrated only on Alaska region but shares that the phenomenon can also be witnessed elsewhere on the globe at high latitudes as the wind emerges from the polar cap around midnight.
This new understanding is believed to be useful for spacecraft orbits, space debris avoidance, ionospheric storm modeling and our understanding about the transport of air in the thermosphere.
However, it is yet to be understood what caused such stalling of winds. It is believed to be occurring due to solar activity, during solar minimum (a period when sun's surface produces low disturbance).