collision of charged particles

BTS Natural Phenomenons

Volcanic Lightning 

Occurs when lighting is produced in a volcanic plume.

Circumhorizontal Arc ( Fire Rainbow )

Formed by the refraction of the sun -or moonlight in plate-shaped ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.


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Airglow ripples over Tibet

Why would the sky look like a giant target? Airglow. Following a giant thunderstorm over Bangladesh in late April, giant circular ripples of glowing air appeared over Tibet, China, as pictured above. The unusual pattern is created by atmospheric gravity waves, waves of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins, in this case about 90 kilometers up. Unlike auroras powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction. More typically seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.

Image credit & copyright: Jeff Dai

Where do you wish to go?

I asked myself last night kung saan ko gusto pumunta aside sa Japan, Korea, London and Greece. Tapos bigla kong naalala yung ‘Aurora Borealis’ or also known as Northern Lights’  na sa piling country lang nakikita like Sweden, Scotland and Norway.

pero eto may nakita akong place na magandang panuoran nun and tignan niyo within the thermal glass igloo siya sa Kakslauttanen Resort sa Finland. Ang perfect nung set-up sa resort nila, parang ang sarap tuloy mag punta dito kasama ko si love tapos nakahiga kami ng magka holding hands habang pinapanood yung collision na gawa ng electrically charged particles ng sun sa earths atmosphere (Yes! lakas maka science ng topic ko haha) di ko alam kung tama ba ako ng pagkaka alala, pero basta something like that. De seryoso, pangarap ko talaga mapanood ‘tong dancing lights na may ibat-ibang shades and formations sa place na ‘to. Syet pwede bang dito nalang ako makatanggap ng proposal? hahaha ang romantic kasi ano ba! nakakaiyak, ang ganda diba?!

Why would the sky look like a giant fan? None other than airglow of course! The featured intermittent green glow appeared to rise from a lake through the arch of our Milky Way Galaxy, as captured last summer next to Bryce Canyon in Utah, USA. The unusual pattern was created by atmospheric gravity waves, ripples of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins, in this case about 90 kilometers up.

Now, unlike auroras powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction. More typically seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.

Image Credit & Copyright: Dave Lane; Rollover Annotation: Judy Schmidt

What’s Up for October?

This month is filled with exciting celestial sights. Here are 10 targets you can view this month:

10. Unusual Sunset

During a sunset, our thick atmosphere absorbs most colors of sunlight, but red light is absorbed the least. Rarely, green flashes can be seen just above the sun’s edge. As the last sliver of the disk disappears below the horizon, be sure to watch its color.

9. Belt of Venus

Just after sunset, turn around and face east. A dark shadow will move up from the horizon and gradually cover the pinkish sky. This is caused from the Earth itself blocking the sunlight and is called the Earth Shadow or the Belt of Venus.

8. Crepuscular Rays

Also just after sunset, or before dawn, you may see rays of sunlight spread like a fan. These are called crepuscular rays and are formed when sunlight streams through gaps in the clouds or mountains.

7. Aurora Borealis

The northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, are caused by collisions between gaseous particles in Earth’s atmosphere and charged particles released from the sun. The color of the lights can changed depending on the type of gas being struck by particles of solar wind. You can find out when and where to expect aurorae at the Space Weather Prediction Center.

6. Andromeda Galaxy

Did you now that The Andromeda Galaxy is one of the few you can actually see with your naked eye? In October, look nearly overhead after sunset to see it! This galaxy is more than twice the apparent width of the moon.

5. Moon Features

Nights in mid-October are excellent for viewing the features on the moon. Areas like the Sea of Tranquility and the site of the 1969 Apollo 11 landing will be visible.

4. A Comet

This month, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission target, a comet with a complicated name (Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko), is still bright enough for experienced astronomers to pick out in a dark sky. On October 9, you may be able to spot it in the east near the crescent moon and Venus.

3. Meteor Showers

There are multiple meteor showers this month. On the 9th: watch the faint, slow-moving Draconids. On the 10th: catch the slow, super-bright Taurids. And on the 21st: don’t’ miss the swift and bright Orionids from the dust of Comet Halley.

2. Three Close Planets

On October 28, you’ll find a tight grouping of Jupiter, Venus and Mars in the eastern sky before sunrise.

1. Zodiacal Light

The Zodiacal light is a faint triangular glow that can be seen from a dark sky after sunset or before sunrise. What you’re seeing is sunlight reflecting off dust grains that circle the sun in the inner solar system. These dust grains travel in the same plane as the moon and planets as they journey across our sky.

For more stargazing tools visit: Star Tool Box

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Airglow, gegenschein, and Milky Way

As far as the eye could see, it was a dark night at Las Campanas Observatory in the southern Atacama desert of Chile. But near local midnight on April 11, this mosaic of 3 minute long exposures revealed a green, unusually intense, atmospheric airglow stretching over thin clouds. Unlike aurorae powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, the airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction, and found around the globe. The chemical energy is provided by the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet radiation. Like aurorae, the greenish hue of this airglow does originate at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so dominated by emission from excited oxygen atoms. The gegenschein, sunlight reflected by dust along the solar system’s ecliptic plane was still visible on that night, a faint bluish cloud just right of picture center. At the far right, the Milky Way seems to rise from the mountain top perch of the Magellan telescopes. Left are the OGLE project and du Pont telescope domes.

Image credit & copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Institution)

Lightning linked to solar wind

Correlation suggests answer to longstanding question about what triggers bolts.

Lightning has been around since the dawn of time, but what triggers it is still an enigma. Now, researchers propose that the answer could lie in solar particles that penetrate the atmosphere and ionize the air, releasing free electrons and leading to a massive discharge.

Thunderclouds become electrically charged from the collisions of microscopic ice particles in their midst, and from air currents that push the negative and positive charges apart. The air is a good insulator, keeping electrons from jumping back and equilibrating the electrostatic charges. But if a pathway of ionized air molecules forms that can act as a conductor between different parts of a cloud, or between the cloud and the ground, the result is a lightning bolt.

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Aurora destination

Following a solar storm that reached the Earth magnetic field, the dancing northern lights or aurora borealis fill the night sky, as captured in this all-sky fisheye view from Yellowknife in the northern Canada, known as one of the world’s best aurora watching destinations. Aurora, which is mostly seen from polar latitudes is produced by the collision of charged particles from Earth’s magnetosphere, mostly electrons but also protons and heavier particles, with atoms and molecules of Earth’s atmosphere (at altitudes above 80 km). The particles originate from the Sun and reach the Earth in the stream of solar wind.

Image credit & copyright: Kwon O Chul

The Southern Lights

Tasmanian locals are blessed with colourful light shows that play across the night sky. This fleeting experience is called the Aurora Australis.

Auroras occur under unique conditions close to the high latitude - Arctic and Antarctic - regions. They are caused by the collision of solar wind and magnetospheric charged particles with the high altitude atmosphere.

This natural phenomenon means that on any given night the multitude of bright stars that beam down on Tasmania will become awash with a multicoloured glow. On your next trip to Tasmania, keep a keen eye on the sky for you never know when the next light show will take over the skyline.

Go Behind The Scenery here.

Photo Credit: Francois Fourie, see more of his stunning photography on his website

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≈ See An Aurora

An aurora is a bright dancing light which are collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are known as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and 'Aurora australis’ in the south. Auroral displays appear in many colors but pale green and pink are the most common. Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have also been seen. This lights can appear in many forms and shapes like patches or scattered clouds of light, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow. Some of the best places to watch the lights in North America are in the northwestern parts of Canada(Yukon, Nunavut, Northwest Territories) and Alaska. Auroral displays can also be seen over the southern tip of Greenland and Iceland, the northern coast of Norway and over the coastal waters north of Siberia. Southern auroras are not often seen as they are concentrated in a ring around Antarctica and the southern Indian Ocean. It is said that in order to get a better view of the lights its better if you are in a light pollution free areas, like open fields and small communities away from the city lights.

Airglow Ripples over Tibet (Jeff Dai)

The unusual pattern is created by atmospheric gravity waves, waves of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins, in this case about 90 kilometers up. Unlike auroras powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction. More typically seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.

Sky On Fire

The skyline across Tasmania recently lit up in the most spectacular fashion thanks to a beautiful red tinged aurora. The natural phenomenon can be seen on the island thanks to the beautiful, clean skies and proximity to the South Pole. Auroras are caused by the collision of solar wind with magnetospheric charged particles with the high altitude atmosphere. 

Go Behind The Scenery here.

Photo Credit: Published on Instagram by Anthraxprime.

A long time ago, when our ancestors admired the beauty of the Northern and Southern Lights, they thought the lights were spirits or souls dancing in the sky. Sometimes the lights were believed to be Gods or Goddesses appearing to mortals. The Northern and Southern Lights caused a range of emotions in the people who witnessed then - alarm, fear, wonder, dread and excitement.  People did not understand what caused these amazing spectacles of lights in the sky. The phenomena of the Northern Lights were explained by different stories.  Today we know that the Aurora is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere.The charged particles originate in the magnetosphere and solar wind and, on Earth, are directed by the Earth’s magnetic field into the atmosphere.In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the Aurora Borealis (or the Northern Lights), named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi in 1621.

 Image credit: Gunnar Þór Gunnarsson /My edit

Airglow over Italy

As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day in this serene nightscape, the Milky Way’s graceful arc stretches over prominent peaks of Dolomites in the Italian Alps known as Tre Cime di Lavaredo. In this 180 degree wide-angle panorama the scene does look to the north and the sky is suffused with an eerie greenish light. Still, the subtle glowing bands are not aurorae, but airglow. Unlike aurorae powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction, and found around the globe. The chemical energy is provided by the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet radiation. Like aurorae, the greenish hue of this airglow does originate at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so dominated by emission from excited oxygen atoms. More easily seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.

Image credit & copyright: Tamas Ladanyi/Astrophoto.hu

“That was some vacation. But nothing beats stargazing in Arendelle.”

“Yeah… Kristoff?”

“Yeah?”

“Ever wonder what those colorful lights are up there?”

“Olaf. I don’t wonder, I know.”

“Oh. What are they?”

“They’re sky rivers. Rivers that got sucked up onto that big, bluish, black, thing.”

“Oh… Gee… I always thought they were natural light displays in the sky particularly in the ridiculously high latitude regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere…”

“Olaf, with you, everything’s ridiculous.”