The astronaut of the European space agency Alexander Gerst saw the space station on 14 September 2018 of an atmospheric phenomenon called glory.
Credit: ESA / NASA
European astronaut Alexander Gerst was amazed that on September 14, 2018 in the clouds under the international space station, he saw a round, rainbow-like shine – a phenomenon known as a glory.
He cut out a few photo's of the colorful glow and placed the shots on Tuesday (November 6) on Twitter. In a statement, the European Space Agency (ESA) explained the rarity of a glory, which is the result of the dropping of water droplets in a certain way.
Surprised to see the glory of a pilot #ISS This phenomenon is often visible from aircraft or when it looks down on a misty crater. Our shadow is (theoretically) exactly in the middle of the rainbow, but we do not have nuclear shadow because of our height. https://t.co/oFvFGpPooO pic.twitter.com/4VgydLtPRu
– Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) November 6, 2018
Because the phenomenon is dependent on specific atmospheric conditions, it is usually reported at relatively high altitudes by mountaineers and pilots, but usually not as high as the space station. While they live in the circular laboratory, astronauts are about 400 kilometers above the surface of the earth.
ESA has not provided any additional information about how a glory could be so high, but Gerst's image could evoke deeper investigations.
"Sometimes a simple photo can stimulate scientific research or even complete scientific research," according to the ESA statement. "Alexander & # 39; s photo & # 39; s of aurora[s] From his last mission in 2014 we add extra information for researchers who analyze these beautiful atmospheric light shows. "
Analysis aside, let us all take a moment to glory in the beauty of this atmospheric phenomenon.