EMS Webinar Series: Understanding the atmosphere of Starry Night

This event has taken place on 6 March 2024. The recording of the presentation and ensuing discussion is available on the EMS YouTube channel.

The EMS starts a series of online meetings at which exchange between members in between the annual General Assemblies and Annual Meeting can be organised on a regular basis, normally on Wednesdays at 4pm (CET/CEST). The topics can vary, and can include presentation of books, results from the photo competition, discussion of hot topics. A small group, consisting of Ernesto Rodriguez-Camino (Spain), Vesna Đuričić (Croatia) and Mónika Lakatos (Hungary), was set up to start preparing the first couple of events, together with the EMS Secretariat.

The first three events have been arranged, with the following topics:

  • 6 March 2024, 4pm (CET): Understanding the atmosphere of Starry Night: Bert Holtslag, The Netherlands
  • 20 March 2024, 4pm (CET): NWP at the crossroads: How the Quiet, Digital and Data-Driven Revolutions are shaping the future of NWP: Irina Sandu, ECMWF
  • 10 April 2024, 4pm (CEST): The Geomagnetic Storm: Beauty and the Beast: Arpad Kis, Hungary, speaking on the theory and Hanneke Luijting, The Netherlands, speaking about photography of Aurora Borealis

Our first speaker will be Bert Holtslag who recently retired as EMS President; he is Emeritus Professor of Meteorology and former Chair at the Meteorology and Air Quality Section at Wageningen University. Find out more about Bert here.

Announcement EMS Webinar on Starry night; picture: Vincent van Gogh , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons" href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Van_Gogh_-_Starry_Night_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg"
Bert will speak about
Understanding the atmosphere of Starry Night

Participation: The Webinar will be held as a zoom webinar and we ask for registration for the event.

Please register here for the EMS Webinar on 6 March 2024



In June 1889, the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh created the now famous painting “Starry Night”. He depicted the view from his room’s window at the Saint-Rémy-de-Provence asylum in Southern France, where he was hospitalised because of his struggle with mental illness. The painting shows motions across the sky, which are streaming over a village and surrounding hills. Light as reflected by the moon and emitted by the stars is twinkling when it passes through the atmosphere. Some believe Vincent was strongly impacted by his illness when he created this painting. Nevertheless, several studies have noticed that the motions depicted by Vincent are in close correspondence with the properties of atmospheric turbulence as formulated by Kolmogorov in 1941. The origin of the turbulence in Starry Night is likely related to the breaking of gravity waves resulting in the scintillation of light. In this presentation an introduction and overview of findings in the literature will be given for a better understanding of the atmosphere of Starry Night.