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ESA Astronaut Captures Gorgeous Photographs of Uncommon Thunder Phenomenon | Sci.Information Categorical Occasions

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As a part of the Thor-Davis experiment on the Worldwide Area Station (ISS), ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen has captured photos of a phenomenon referred to as crimson sprite.

Outfitted with a specialised event-based digital camera, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen managed to seize this image of a crimson sprite in October 2023. Picture credit score: ESA / DTU / A. Mogensen.

The Thor-Davis experiment investigates lightning within the higher environment and the way it would possibly have an effect on the focus of greenhouse gasses.

The experiment is led by Danish Technical College (DTU) along with ESA.

It builds upon the previous Thor experiment from Andreas Mogensen’s first mission in 2015, when he additionally captured photos of a distinct thunder occasion taking pictures up in the direction of area, a blue jet.

“These photos taken by Andreas are unbelievable,” mentioned Olivier Chanrion, lead scientist for the Thor-Davis experiment and senior researcher at DTU Area.

“The Davis digital camera works properly and provides us the excessive temporal decision essential to seize the short processes within the lightning.”

Because the crimson sprites type above thunder clouds, they don’t seem to be simply studied from floor and are subsequently largely seen from area, together with utilizing the Environment-Area Interactions Monitor (ASIM) that sits on the surface of the ISS.

Nevertheless few sprites have been seen from the bottom.

The Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) is a collection of optical cameras, photometers and an X- and gamma-ray detector designed to look for electrical discharges born in stormy weather conditions that extend above thunderstorms into the upper atmosphere. Image credit: ESA.

The Environment-Area Interactions Monitor (ASIM) is a set of optical cameras, photometers and an X- and gamma-ray detector designed to search for electrical discharges born in stormy climate situations that stretch above thunderstorms into the higher environment. Picture credit score: ESA.

The Davis digital camera is an occasion digital camera, which works extra just like the human eye, sensing change in distinction as a substitute of capturing a picture like an everyday digital camera.

The ability draw of an occasion digital camera may be very low, on the order of some watts whereas nonetheless having the ability to take the equal of 100,000 photos a second.

The pace of the digital camera is obvious from the video under the place you see the thunder strike under after which the crimson sprite type above.

The crimson sprite imaged by Andreas Mogensen was roughly 14 by 26 km (8.7 by 16.2 miles) in measurement.

It occurred above thunderclouds, between 40 and 80 km (25 and 50 miles) over the bottom.


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