Green lights, no aliens

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BY WENDY ELLIOTT

Kings County Register

Lights in the sky Wolfville residents saw this past weekend are not signs of aliens.

The lasers are part of a new equipment installation, in collaboration with Environment Canada.

According to Dr. Nelson O'Driscoll, a Canada Research Chair in Environmental Biogeochemistry, the new equipment sends out green and white laser lights to measure atmospheric aerosols in real time using LIDAR technology. “Aerosols are a concern for a variety of atmospheric chemistry and environmental health reasons,” he says.

The system is a part of a cross-country monitoring network, and the installation will be fully functional in the near future. “You will see a green laser coming from the K.C. Irving Center and traveling about 15 kilometres into the atmosphere from now on. It's a very exciting project, so stay tuned for more public details over the next few weeks.”

Responding to a parent, O’Driscoll adds, “you can assure your kids it is not an alien beacon. However, its quite appropriate that it is green, given the nature of the environmental research.”

RCMP in Wolfville also received a query about the unusual lights.

Organizations: Environment Canada, K.C. Irving Center, RCMP

Geographic location: Wolfville

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