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Why NASA Watches Airglow, the Colors of the (Upper Atmospheric) Wind

22 Oct 2018, 14:00 UTC
Why NASA Watches Airglow, the Colors of the (Upper Atmospheric) Wind NASA

What does our planet look like from space? Most are familiar with beloved images of the blue marble or pale blue dot — Earth from 18,000 and 3.7 billion miles away, respectively. But closer to home, at the boundary between Earth and space, you might encounter an unfamiliar sight. If you were to peer down on Earth from just 300 miles above the surface, near the orbit of the International Space Station, you could see vibrant swaths of red and green or purple and yellow light emanating from the upper atmosphere.

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