Scientists observe northern lights in Norilsk since 1963

Scientists observe northern lights in Norilsk since 1963

July 12, 2021

The research program has been reduced, but space observations continue.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The integrated magnetic ionospheric station, also known as the Polar Cosmophysical Test Site, is the most remote site of the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The landfill was opened near Norilsk in 1963. The city was then chosen as a large settlement closest to the northern zone of the aurora borealis.

Scientists at the integrated magnetic ionospheric station were located far from the city in order to observe the aurora borealis and measure the magnetic field without interference.

The station was located not far from lake Vygodnoye, when there were no ‘neighbors’ around yet. Later, several tourist centers grew in that area, a military town was built, where the headquarters of the air defense division was located, and, finally, a completely new urban area was erected – Oganer.

Now the PCTS building has the address Yugoslavskaya street, 1, and from this point of view, it can be considered the oldest building in Oganer.

The main task of the integrated magnetic ionospheric station is to study the near space, starting from the altitude of 80–100 kilometers.

In the 1970s, the staff of the station consisted of 60 people. Scientists were engaged in the registration of cosmic rays with a neutron supermonitor, stratospheric balloon sounding, registration of geomagnetic variations and short-period oscillations of the magnetic field, photographic and photometric registration of auroras, radio sounding of the ionosphere, measurement of absorption of cosmic radiation, reception of satellite telemetric information about space weather over Norilsk.

PCTS solved the issues of the country’s defense capabilities: the problems of high-latitude radio communications and the functioning of personal protective equipment in near-earth orbits. Now the research program has been reduced, but space observations continue.

In the last issue of the History spot photo project, we talked about the fact that the first cultural center of Norilsk was the House of Engineering and Technical Workers.

For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.

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Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

July 12, 2021

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