NASA astronauts captured two atmospheric phenomena over the Earth at once in one photo: the northern lights and the glow of the sky. The department published the snapshot on August 19 on its official page on the Instagram social network.
It is reported that the two most colorful phenomena of the upper atmosphere converged in the sky at dawn on March 16 this year. At this time, the ISS flew over South Alaska.
The image shows how wavy green tufts of aurora borealis with red tops appear to traverse a muted red-and-yellow glow. The rising sun behind the Earth’s limb adds a deep blue to the horizon.
The agency emphasizes that these phenomena have a different nature, despite the fact that they occur at approximately the same height.
So, the glow of the sky occurs due to chemical processes – the reactions of oxygen, nitrogen, and other molecules in the upper atmosphere. The northern lights, in turn, are formed from the interaction between the energy of the sun and the earth’s magnetic field.