The International Space Station gives us some pictures of the outer Earth from the space. The recent one is a beautiful glow of light over our planet. It shows the meeting of light green aurora and airglow before dawn. The photo taken by astronaut displays the red-topped rays or aurora borealis that seems to be intersecting the reddish-yellow band of airglow as ISS passed just south of the Alaskan Peninsula. The rising Sun, behind Earth’s, adds a deep blue to the horizon. Beautiful light from cities in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada along with starlight makes it a stunning early morning skyscape. Aurora Australis Graces the Night Sky Over Queenstown and Tasmania, Video Captures Spectacular Natural Light Show.
NASA shared the photo with the caption, "Aurora, meet airglow. Two of Earth’s most colourful upper atmospheric phenomena, aurora and airglow, met just before dawn in this March 16 photo shot by an astronaut on the @Space_Station." The photo has received close to nine lakh likes on Instagram and over 10 lakh likes on Twitter. Is Northern Lights on Your Bucket List? Aurora Borealis Will be Less Active In Coming Years; Know Why.
Aurora Meet Airglow, Captured by NASA:
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While they appear to be at similar altitudes, aurora and airglow are produced by different physical processes. Nighttime airglow is a type of chemiluminescence, caused by the light from chemical interactions between oxygen, nitrogen, and other molecules in the upper atmosphere. Earth Observatory says, "Airglow occurs all around the Earth, but “nightglow” is much easier to spot over a dark Earth than “dayglow,” as airglow is just one-billionth as bright as the Sun". Meanwhile, auroras, on the other hand, are formed due to interactions between solar energy and Earth’s magnetic field. The magnetic field transfers the energy into the upper atmosphere, where it meets with the same atoms as airglow.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 19, 2020 04:33 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).