It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Following a severe thunderstorm over Bangladesh in late April, Jeff Dai captured these stunning photos of giant circular ripples of glowing air in the night sky while he was on the Tibet Plateau of China. Standing about 4,450 meters (14,600 feet) above sea level, the Chongqing, China-based creative was able to get a clear view of the breathtakingly luminescent, multihued bullseye shape overhead.
The unusual pattern is created by atmospheric gravity waves, waves of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins, in this case about 90 kilometers up. Unlike auroras powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction. More typically seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.
It’s one thing to visualize different layers of gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere and see drawings and models in a book or online… it’s another thing entirely to capture it on camera. But of course, that’s one of the perks of being an astronaut on the International Space Station, you get to do a whole lot of things that are “another thing entirely.”
The photograph above was taken by astronaut Reid Wiseman and uploaded to his Twitter feed early this morning. It’s a 3-second exposure, and we know this because he captioned the photo “3 second shutter exposure at night shows how crazy our #atmosphere really is.”
originally posted by: 024nona
That is stunning. Never heard of airglow ripples, time for some research.
Airglow (also called nightglow) is the very weak emission of light by a planetary atmosphere. In the case of Earth's atmosphere, this optical phenomenon causes the night sky never to be completely dark, even after the effects of starlight and diffused sunlight from the far side are removed.
Airglow is caused by various processes in the upper atmosphere, such as the recombination of atoms, which were photoionized by the sun during the day, luminescence caused by cosmic rays striking the upper atmosphere and chemiluminescence caused mainly by oxygen and nitrogen reacting with hydroxyl ions at heights of a few hundred kilometres. It is not noticeable during the daytime because of the scattered light from the sun.
originally posted by: 024nona
Just found this. "The Earth's atmosphere is a thin layer of gases that surrounds the Earth. It composed of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.9% argon, 0.03% carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other gases. This thin gaseous layer insulates the Earth from extreme temperatures; it keeps heat inside the atmosphere and it also blocks the Earth from much of the Sun's incoming ultraviolet radiation.
The Earth's atmosphere is about 300 miles (480 km) thick, but most of the atmosphere (about 80%) is within 10 miles (16 km) of the surface of the Earth. There is no exact place where the atmosphere ends; it just gets thinner and thinner, until it merges with outer space." Source www.enchantedlearning.com...
originally posted by: Bigburgh
That's just beautiful!
I have no words....
originally posted by: PlasticWizard
Saw this on Netflix a couple nights ago. Lots of awesome information on the glow and Sprites. Super cool stuff! Nova Sprites