Snowdon Space Weather Station
This project, located at Snowdon Summit, can be thought of like a space station. It carries a small scientific payload of a cosmic ray detector and weather instruments and is subject to mass, power, communications and cost constraints. Near real-time data collected by the station is displayed on this site, and archive data is also available to download in our find out more page. An interactive walkthrough of the equipment is also available.
This station is part of the RAS200: Astronomy and Geophysics through the Traditional Culture of Wales project.
The equipment detects cosmic rays, which are high-energy particles from outer space called muons. In Earth's atmosphere, they hit air molecules and create cascades of more high-energy particles.
Because cosmic rays come from space, the cosmic ray counts increase with height. This is why the results from a mountaintop site, closer to the edge of the atmosphere, are more interesting than at sea level.
Since cosmic rays interact with the air, it is possible that they could indirectly affect the weather or radiation (light and heat) in Earth's atmosphere. To test this idea, the experiment measures light and heat too.