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NOAA news notes.

NOAA news notes

* Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say they solved the largest set of mathematical equations ever attempted when they recently finished a 12-year project to recompute the national geodetic network, which consists of 250,000 precisely measured points on the earth's surface. This network has been gradually compiled since 1807; the last time the network data were readjusted was in 1927.

* NOAA reports that one of the strongest geomagnetic storms since 1976 disrupted communications across the northern United States during the first weeks of February. The magnetic storm, which is caused by a surge of charged particles from the sun, has been linked to a series of solar flares.

* Radiosondes -- shoebox-sized instrument packages that are carried by helium balloons to altitudes of 20 miles -- are launched twice daily from 100 sites to measure the temperature, pressure, humidity and winds in the atmosphere -- data essential for monitoring and forecasting the weather. Radiosondes are designed to parachute back to earth when their balloons burst; the hope is that people who find them will return them to the National Weather Service, so that they can be rebuilt and used again. Normally, about 18,000 are returned per year. But in recent years, reports NOAA, for some unknown reason the number of returns has dropped by several thousand each year. So NOAA, with a little help from the Sierra Club, the Boy Scouts of America and other groups, is putting out the word for people to be on the lookout for the radiosondes.
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Title Annotation:National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
Publication:Science News
Date:Feb 22, 1986
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