NASA routinely takes stunning images of our universe, leaving space enthusiasts awestruck. Recently, NASA took to Instagram to share an image taken from the International Space Station showing Earth’s airglow outlining the horizon of the planet and the Moon above. The image was taken on November 14, 2023, from the International Space Station as it orbited 260 miles (418 km) above the Midwestern United States.
“A view of Earth from the space station during orbital night,” NASA wrote in the image’s description: “The Moon is located above Earth and is roughly centered above the surface. Atmospheric glow outlines the atmosphere above Earth’s surface with a yellow shadow. City lights dot the Earth’s surface, and among them, the concentration of lights near From the skyline to Chicago, while the focus of lights closest to the lower left defines Denver.
See picture here:
According to NASA, airglow occurs when atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere, excited by sunlight, emit light in order to shed their excess energy. NASA also explained that although they look similar, auroras and airglows are formed through different processes. Auroras are created by high-energy particles originating from the solar wind, and airglow is created by daily solar radiation.
“Studying airflow gives us a peek into the temperature, density, and composition of the upper atmosphere, but it also helps us track how particles move across the same region,” NASA wrote. “Formidable high-altitude winds sweep through the ionosphere, propelling its contents around the globe, and follow a dance “Airglow is delicately paced, highlighting global patterns.”
Since sharing it two days ago, the photo has received more than 7.8 thousand likes and many comments. While some users described the photo as “amazing”, others described it as “beautiful”. “It’s like you’re in a movie,” one user said.
Another commented: “This picture is so beautiful.”
A few days ago, NASA shared a stunning image of the aurora borealis captured from the International Space Station. According to the caption, a dazzling green aurora swept across the sky over Utah, United States, on Sunday night, creating a magnificent halo over our planet.
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