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You have never seen anything like this before! Astronauts on the ISS filmed a golden glow in the Earth's atmosphere

Dmytro IvancheskulNews
Sunlight can create interesting phenomena in the Earth's atmosphere. Source: Getty/collage by OBOZ.UA

Astronauts on the International Space Station have managed to photograph a golden glow in the Earth's atmosphere. This glow occurs when sunlight interacts with atoms and molecules in the planet's atmosphere.

The image was published on the website of the American space agency NASA. The photo was taken by Andreas Mogensen, who is the first astronaut from Denmark and the 544th astronaut in the world.

The interaction between sunlight and charged particles and molecules in the atmosphere can create a variety of glows. The most famous of these are the Northern and Southern Lights. They create a real show, but they are not the only ones. A more subtle phenomenon is called the aurora. You can see it from the ground, but it is best to do so from space.

The photo above shows a bright golden glow curving over the Earth, as well as a darker streak that stands out against the dark contrast of the starry sky.

Air glow in the Earth's atmosphere

The photo was reportedly taken when the ISS was at an altitude of 415 kilometers flying over the Pacific Ocean.

The aurora occurs when nitrogen, oxygen, sodium, and ozone molecules interact with ultraviolet radiation from sunlight in the upper layers of the planet's atmosphere. This interaction causes the molecules to collide with each other and emit light.

The golden glow is caused by sodium particles in the atmosphere, and the red glow is caused by oxygen and, to a lesser extent, hydroxyl (oxygen plus a hydrogen molecule), which is present even higher in the atmosphere.

Usually, such a light show can be seen only in the complete absence of sunlight, so Mogensen had to set a long shutter speed on his camera to get enough light in the picture. That's why, in addition to the Earth and the glow around it, the sky in the photo is not traditionally black, but decorated with stars.

In addition to the interesting glow, the photo also shows no less fascinating white cirrus clouds over the dark blue Pacific Ocean. A part of the space station itself was also captured.

The ISS moves around the Earth at a speed of 8 kilometers per second. Thus, it takes the ISS only 90 minutes to complete one revolution around the planet. Therefore, during 24 hours, astronauts on the station observe 16 sunrises and sunsets. During one rotation, the ISS experiences approximately 45 minutes of daylight and 45 minutes of darkness.

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