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A strange blue light was seen over Europe from the International Space Station

BingMag.com A strange blue light was seen over Europe from the International Space Station

Late last week, when astronauts on the International Space Station were working as usual, they saw a strange blue light over Europe for a reason. It was scientifically interesting.

It was October 8 (October 16) that Thomas Pesquet, the French astronaut of the European Space Agency, recorded with his camera a very rare phenomenon from the International Space Station, and this The week has shared it with descriptions.

The captured image is one frame longer than a timelapse and shows an explosion-like blue light over Europe. But the explosion did not cause any damage, and even most people never even notice such an event.

This photo actually shows a very spectacular phenomenon called the "Transient Luminous Event" that, like It is a thunderstorm that occurs in the upper layers of the atmosphere.

Transient glowing events, also known as upper atmospheric thunderstorms, are a set of related phenomena that occur during a thunderstorm, but They are much higher than where ordinary thunderstorms are seen. The phenomenon also has a relatively different mechanism, despite its resemblance to lightning.

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In this phenomenon there are "Blue Jets" that occur in the lowest part of the stratosphere and are caused by lightning. If lightning strikes a positively charged area of the storm before it passes through the lower positive region, lightning strikes upwards, producing a blue glow of molecular nitrogen.

BingMag.com A strange blue light was seen over Europe from the International Space Station

Earth at night from the perspective of the International Space Station
Credit: T. Pesquet, ESA/NASA

Another part of this phenomenon is the red "spirit" or "SPRITE", abbreviated to "Stratospheric/mesospheric Perturbations Resulting" from Intense Thunderstorm Electrification).

These sprites are large-scale electrical discharges that occur above lightning clouds and often glow red. Such a phenomenon is caused by lightning disturbances in the lower layers and forms much higher than a hurricane cell. The central part of the red light in this phenomenon is also due to "Elves" (ELVES) or "light emission and low frequency disturbances due to electromagnetic pulse sources" (Emission of Light and Very Low Frequency perturbations due to Electromagnetic Pulse Sources) in the ionosphere. In addition to the blue and red sections, there is another section called "TROLLs" or "Transient Red Optical Luminous Lineaments" that resemble "Pixie" phenomena. ) And "ghosts" (GHOSTS) appear after strong spirits. It can be said that naming these phenomena has been very entertaining for scientists!

Peski recorded a rare moment in which many of these phenomena can be seen. "The interesting thing about this thunderstorm is that a few decades ago, pilots reported seeing it, but scientists were not sure it existed," he wrote in a photo caption. "But over the years, the existence of elves has been confirmed, and sprites are real, and they greatly affect the climate." The whole has not been converted to a jet, but instead has a shorter, brighter glow.

BingMag.com A strange blue light was seen over Europe from the International Space Station

Earth at night from the point of view of the International Space Station
Credit: T. Pesquet, ESA/NASA

It is very difficult to photograph these events from Earth, because They are both extremely high in the sky and regularly obscured by storm clouds. In addition, such phenomena usually last only a few milliseconds.

With all of this in mind, the International Space Station is a great place to look for these transient events, especially if a camera is recording time-lapse. So far, some of these events have been recorded by astronauts, and a few have been recorded from Earth. It happens. "This is a very rare event, and we have a dedicated facility outside the Columbus European Laboratory at the ISS to observe these thunderstorms," he added.

And researchers have found that there is a phenomenon of water spirits in Jupiter. In any case, this is a scientifically interesting and, of course, very spectacular phenomenon that the International Space Station has provided the opportunity to observe properly.

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Cover photo: Lightning strikes over Europe from the perspective of the International Space Station
Credit: T. Pesquet, ESA/NASA


Source: Science Alert

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