22 Feb 2010



​SKY-ZERO is a Danish / UK project to better understand the role of cosmic rays in aerosol formation in the atmosphere.


Aerosols are known to be important in climate models, but the mechanisms and variables behind their creation and growth are poorly understood.

This experiment looks at the effect of controlled levels of ionisation on aerosol growth in an instrumented steel chamber containing pure air and trace additives to simulate, as well as possible, typical Earth's atmospheres.

Operating the experiment at Boulby and within a purpose build lead and copper 'castle' allows the ion-induced nucleation mechanism to be studied at lower ionisation levels than ever before. Thus enabling the investigation of (and unambiguous discrimination between) ‘neutral’ and ‘ion-induced aerosol’ nucleation and growth mechanisms.

Participating institutions:

  • Danish National Space Institute
  • STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
  • Birmingham University
  • Manchester University
  • Oxford University​

Contact: Toth, Christopher (STFC,Boulby Mine,PPD)

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