An astronaut aboard the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) has captured a surprising photograph of a crescent moon above Earth because the final mild of the setting solar shines by way of the completely different layers of the ambiance.
The photograph was taken Dec. 6, 2021, by an unnamed member of the Expedition 66 crew — a gaggle of seven astronauts from NASA, the European Area Company, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Company and Russia’s State Area Company, Roscosmos. The picture was taken utilizing a digital digicam because the ISS handed over the Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand at an altitude of round 262 miles (422 kilometers).
NASA’s Earth Observatory launched the photograph on Dec. 31, 2021. “This view presents a symbolic finish to the 12 months 2021 and a glance towards NASA’s subsequent purpose for human-crewed exploration,” Earth Observatory representatives stated in a assertion.
The photograph contains a multicolored orbital sundown that fades from orange close to Earth’s floor to darkish blue on the boundary of house. The completely different colours belong to the primary 4 layers of the ambiance: the troposphere, between zero and seven.5 miles (12 km); the stratosphere, between 7.5 and 31 miles (50 km); the mesosphere, between 31 and 50 miles (80 km); and the thermosphere, between 50 and 440 miles (700 km), in line with NASA.
The completely different colours are the results of a phenomenon often known as Rayleigh scattering, named after the Nineteenth-century British physicist Lord Rayleigh. On this course of, electromagnetic radiation, comparable to seen mild, is scattered by particles smaller than its wavelength, comparable to air molecules. (What we see is the sunshine of these scattered wavelengths.) Every layer of the ambiance has a distinct density of fuel particles, that means the scattered mild is a distinct coloration in every of these layers.
Initially revealed on Dwell Science.