Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ride the skies with NASA

Click to enlarge

Following Ole C Salomonsen's great picture (below) of the Northern Lights, NASA have released this space age shot taken from the International Space Station in Earth orbit over Eastern Australia on September 11th. It captures the Southern Lights formed as charged particles streaming from the Sun, known as the solar wind, interact with Earth's magnetic field.

The resultant collisions with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen in the upper atmosphere release energy in the form of photons, emitted at wavelengths the human eye sees as 'green.'  The sun's rays reflect off plants at the same wavelength, which is why plants, too, look green to us.

You can see the stunning NASA video here:

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