Articles

The International Geophysical Month

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Science  01 Dec 1961:
Vol. 134, Issue 3492, pp. 1737-1738
DOI: 10.1126/science.134.3492.1737

Abstract

For convenience, we summarize below some of the main advantages of the IGM concept.

1) Most organizations can mount and support intensive field operations for short periods.

2) High-quality data would be obtained, and the data could be processed more promptly than in long-term projects.

3) Laboratory equipment could in many instances be mnade available for field operations.

4) Top-caliber researchers would be available for field operations.

5) The participation of small research groups and of research workers from government and industry would be fostered.

6) Student participation would improve educational programs in, and attract needed talent to, the geophysical sciences.

7) Ship, satellite, and rocket observations could be scheduled for IGM's.

8) International scientific conferences scheduled to follow IGM's would attract working scientists.

It is not suggested that these short-term exercises should replace the long synoptic programs characteristic of the IGY. Rather it is proposed that they supplement and guide any such future long-term program. If adopted, they would produce many data of value for the planning and timing of the International Year of the Quiet Sun. To bring emphasis on special observations during the IQSY, International Geophysical Months might well be scheduled to coincide with the June and December solstices, to be followed by an IGM at an equinoctial period. This would provide periods for concentrated sampling—periods in somewhat the same category as the Regular World Intervals adopted during the IGY. The more elaborate experiments could be confined to the International Geophysical Months, so that only those studies for which continuous observations are essential would be scheduled for the entire period. The duration of an International Geophysical Month would be sufficient for carrying out experiments requiring moving platforms such as ships, rockets, or satellites.

It is recommended that every effort be made to schedule the first IGM during the June solstice in 1962. This initial effort could well be followed by the scheduling of IGM's during the December solstice in 1962 and the March equinox in 1963. These exercises would provide information important to the planning and scheduling of the IQSY (1).