Next Florida Tech Astronomy Lecture Looks at Transient Luminous Events

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Tech’s Astronomy and Astrophysics Public Lecture Series will present “Transient Luminous Events in Earth’s Upper Atmosphere” on
Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. The free presentation will be in the F.W. Olin Engineering Complex auditorium, Room EC118.

The lecture is by Ningyu Liu, Ph.D., Florida Tech assistant professor of physics and space sciences.

Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) are atmospheric phenomena occurring at high altitudes, which relate to lightning activities in underlying thunderstorms.
Discovered in the early 1990s, there are now several types of TLEs known, such as sprites, blue jets, gigantic jets, and elves.

“At Florida Tech, we carry out research work studying the physical mechanism of sprites and the effects of sprites on the upper atmosphere. Our latest
finding indicates that sprites have a nature very similar to the sparks we see in our daily life,” said Liu.

There will be stargazing afterward, on the rooftop of the Olin Physical Sciences Building, weather-permitting, including through the university’s new 0.8-m
Ortega Telescope. The F.W. Olin Engineering Center is located on University Boulevard. For more information, call (321) 674-7717, or visit online for a map and directions.

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