NASA continues to astound space enthusiasts with awe-inspiring images of our vast universe. From its space telescopes to the International Space Station, NASA’s advanced technologies allow us to witness the wonders of space in real-time. In their latest share, NASA has unveiled a mesmerizing snapshot of Earth’s airglow captured from the International Space Station (ISS).
Taken on November 14, 2023, as the ISS orbited above the United States, the image showcases Earth’s airglow accentuating the planet’s horizon, with the Moon shining brightly above. The photograph also highlights the city lights of Denver and its suburbs on the lower right, with the dazzling lights of Chicago in the background.
What exactly is Earth’s airglow? According to NASA, airglow is a phenomenon that occurs when atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere are excited by sunlight, emitting light as they release excess energy. It is similar to auroras, but unlike auroras, which are triggered by high-energy particles from the solar wind, airglow is a result of solar radiation. Scientists study airglow to gain insights into the temperature, density, and composition of the upper atmosphere. It also helps them track the movements of particles within this region, facilitating a deeper understanding of the dynamics at play.
Unsurprisingly, NASA’s captivating image has received significant attention on Instagram, with over 810,000 likes and numerous comments. This dedication to capturing the striking beauty of space fuels the enthusiasm and curiosity of space enthusiasts, leaving them eager for more discoveries and revelations about our vast universe.
Q: Chì ghjè l'airglow?
A: Airglow is a phenomenon where atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere emit light as a result of being excited by sunlight.
Q: How is airglow different from auroras?
A: While both airglow and auroras involve the emission of light in the atmosphere, auroras are caused by high-energy particles from the solar wind, whereas airglow is sparked by day-to-day solar radiation.
Q: What information can scientists gather from studying airglow?
A: Studying airglow provides scientists with insights into the temperature, density, composition of the upper atmosphere, as well as the movements of particles within it.
Q: How did NASA capture the image of Earth’s airglow?
A: The image of Earth’s airglow was captured by NASA from the International Space Station (ISS) on November 14, 2023, as it orbited above the United States.