An astronaut on the International Space Station captured on an image the marvelous airglow atmospheric effect which makes the Earth look like another word, another planet. The snapshot was taken from approximately 250 miles over Australia reveals our homeworld in a weird, reddish nuance.
The Earth’s atmosphere is formed of different layers of gases that, among others, have the goal to protect our world from the damaging effect of the UV rays of the sunlight. When UV radiations hit the lower atmosphere layers, they light up the molecules in the air, energizing them. That energy is then released as light.
Accordingly, the airglow atmospheric effect is a common one, only that we don’t see it always. When visible from the Earth, these airglow “paints” our planet’s atmosphere in green and red, but when the phenomenon is witnessed from space, it is visible in orange an yellow nuances, precisely like in the photo from the beginning of the article.
Airglow Atmospheric Effect Makes Earth Looks Like Another World
As mentioned above, the photo captured from the ISS makes the Earth look like an alien world, in yellow and orange nuances. Besides the beautifulness of the airglow atmospheric effect, NASA and other astronomers, as well, are examining airglow phenomenon to understand how our atmosphere works.
By studying the Earth’s atmosphere, scientists hope to learn more about the link between the weather on Earth and in space, as the atmosphere tends to act like a buffer between Earth and space.
In this regard, the US space agency plans on launching the Ionospheric Connection Explorer or ICON, a new satellite that would supposedly give astronomers more in-depth details about the Earth’s atmosphere and the phenomena that take place in it. Initially scheduled for yesterday, ICON’s launch postponed to a later date due to a glitch in the rocket.
With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.