Friday, April 28, 2006

Aurora from space

Check out this awesome movie of the aurora as seen from the ISS: Movie

Also see Astronaut Don Pettit's longer science movie with real-time looks at the aurora. Don't miss the Manicouagan, Quebec impact crater visible by moonlight about 3/4 the way into the movie.

You can see how restricted the aurorae are to a particular height in the atmosphere (starting at about 100km in the ionosphere and extending up to 300-500km) and the color variation with height (the red emission of oxygen requires an excited atom to remain unjostled by other atoms for a time period before it will emit a particular wavelength).

Astronaut Don Pettit discusses the aurora from space further in this article.

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