October 13, 2012

Eagle Aurora over Norway

What's that in the sky? An aurora. A large coronal mass ejection occurred on our Sun in January 2012, throwing a cloud of fast moving electrons, protons, and ions toward the Earth. Although most of this cloud passed above the Earth, some of it impacted our Earth's magnetosphere and resulted in spectacular auroras seen at high northern latitudes. This picture is a particularly photogenic auroral corona captured above Grotfjord, Norway.

To some, this shimmering green glow of recombining atmospheric oxygen might appear as a large eagle, but feel free to share what it looks like to you

Image Credit & Copyright: Bjørn Jørgensen
Explanation from: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120124.html

October 12, 2012

Iberian Peninsula at night seen from International Space Station

The city lights of Spain and Portugal define the Iberian Peninsula in this photograph from the International Space Station (ISS). Several large metropolitan areas are visible, marked by their relatively large and brightly lit areas, including the capital cities of Madrid, Spain—located near the center of the peninsula’s interior—and Lisbon, Portugal—located along the southwestern coastline. The ancient city of Seville, visible to the north of the Strait of Gibraltar, is one of the largest cities in Spain. The astronaut view is looking toward the east, and is part of a time-lapse series of images.

The network of smaller cities and towns along the coastline and in the interior attest to the extent of the human presence on the Iberian landscape. The blurring of city lights is caused by thin cloud cover (image left and center), while cloud tops are dimly illuminated by moonlight. Though obscured, the lights of France are visible near the horizon line on the upper left, while the lights of northern Africa are more clearly discernable at right. The faint gold and green line of airglow—caused by ultraviolet radiation exciting the gas molecules in the upper atmosphere—parallels the horizon (or Earth limb).

The Iberian Peninsula is the southwestern-most of the European peninsulas (together with the Italian and Balkan peninsulas), and includes the Principality of Andorra, as well as the Kingdom of Spain and the Portuguese Republic. The approximately 590,000 square kilometer landmass is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest, west, and southwest and the Mediterranean Sea to the east. Its northeastern boundary is marked by the Pyrenees mountain range.

Image Credit: NASA
Explanation from: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=76777

October 11, 2012


On Saturday, August 27, 2011, International Space Station astronaut Ron Garan used a high definition camera to film one of the sixteen sunrises astronauts see each day. This image shows the rising Sun as the station flew along a path between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Image Credit: NASA
Explanation from: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2047.html

October 9, 2012

Lightning Strikes over the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcano

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, Chile
June 6, 2011

Image Credit & Copyright: Francisco Negroni

October 8, 2012

Supercell over Montana

Supercell Cloud

Glasgow, Montana, USA
 July 2010 

Image Credit & Copyright: Sean R. Heavey

October 7, 2012

Aurora over Hidden Lake Territorial Park

Aurora Hidden Lake Territorial Park

Hidden Lake Territorial Park, Northwest Territories, Canada
September 2011

Image Credit & Copyright: Yuichi Takasaka