Simultaneous glow of lightning and moonlight captured from the ISS

(ORDO NEWS) — An astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has received an unusual image of the Earth from space , which shows two blue spots of light formed in our planet’s atmosphere.

They are the result of two unrelated natural phenomena occurring at the same moment.

The image was taken last year by an unnamed ISS crew member over the South China Sea. The photo was published on October 9 by NASA.

Simultaneous glow of lightning and moonlight captured from the ISS 2

The first bright clot of light is a powerful lightning strike somewhere in the Gulf of Thailand.

Lightning strikes are usually difficult to see from the ISS, as they are obscured by clouds. But this impact occurred at the top of the clouds.

The second blob of light can be seen in the upper right corner of the image. It was formed as a result of distorted light from the moon.

The light it reflects from the sun travels straight through Earth’s atmosphere, turning it into a bright blue blob with a fuzzy halo.

According to the Earth Observatory, this effect is caused by the scattering of part of the moon’s light in tiny particles of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Different colors of visible light have different wavelengths, which affects how they interact with atmospheric particles.

Blue light has the shortest wavelength and is therefore the most likely to scatter, causing the Moon to turn blue in this image.

For example, the same effect explains why the sky appears blue during the day: according to NASA, the blue waves of sunlight scatter more strongly and become more visible to the human eye.

Simultaneous glow of lightning and moonlight captured from the ISS 3

The photo also shows a glowing network of artificial light emanating from Thailand. Other known sources of light pollution in the image radiate from Vietnam and Hainan Island, China’s southernmost region, although these light sources are largely obscured by clouds.

According to the Earth Observatory, the orange halo, following the curvature of the Earth, is the edge of the atmosphere.

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