APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 4477
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by APOD Robot » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:06 am

Image Sprites from Space

Explanation: An old Moon and the stars of Orion rose above the eastern horizon on August 10. The Moon's waning crescent was still bright enough to be overexposed in this snapshot taken from another large satellite of planet Earth, the International Space Station. A greenish airglow traces the atmosphere above the limb of the planet's night. Below, city lights and lightning flashes from thunderstorms appear over southern Mexico. The snapshot also captures the startling apparition of a rare form of upper atmospheric lightning, a large red sprite caught above a lightning flash at the far right. While the space station's orbital motion causes the city lights to blur and trail during the exposure, the extremely brief flash of the red sprite is sharp. Now known to be associated with thunderstorms, much remains a mystery about sprites including how they occur, their effect on the atmospheric global electric circuit, and if they are somehow related to other upper atmospheric lightning phenomena such as blue jets or terrestrial gamma flashes.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>
[/b]

ZebraStripes

Re: APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by ZebraStripes » Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:02 am

I love APOD, have set it as my home page to learn more every day, as I am an interested, but totally untrained star gazer. My question on this "Sprites from Space" image: In upper right corner, there appears to be a reddish 'shooting star'. Two questions -- Is it a 'shooting star'? and... Does it's red color relate to the Red Sprite below (and to the left)?

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 9158
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by geckzilla » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:32 am

ZebraStripes wrote:I love APOD, have set it as my home page to learn more every day, as I am an interested, but totally untrained star gazer. My question on this "Sprites from Space" image: In upper right corner, there appears to be a reddish 'shooting star'. Two questions -- Is it a 'shooting star'? and... Does it's red color relate to the Red Sprite below (and to the left)?
Best I can guess you're pointing out a regular star that has been distorted by the camera lens. Wide angle lenses tend to do this. If you look around at the other stars, mostly near the edges of the frame, you'll notice others doing that. They'll change in angle to "point" near the center of the image since it's a lens effect. It's a little hard to see in this case because either the camera or the ISS itself moved quite a bit during the long exposure.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

Zoomer

Re: APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by Zoomer » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:31 am

ZebraStripes wrote:I love APOD, have set it as my home page to learn more every day, as I am an interested, but totally untrained star gazer. My question on this "Sprites from Space" image: In upper right corner, there appears to be a reddish 'shooting star'. Two questions -- Is it a 'shooting star'? and... Does it's red color relate to the Red Sprite below (and to the left)?
My first guess was the same as yours.
My second guess, after looking at a higher resolution image, is that this is one of a small group of three similar lines which could be reflection off the window from the interior of the ISS. Way less likely, these could be trails of other satellites or debris

Space Guffaw

Re: APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by Space Guffaw » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:04 pm

Looks more like a reflection of the interior of the Space Station of which apparently "little is understood."

Boomer12k
:---[===] *
Posts: 2691
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:07 am

Re: APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by Boomer12k » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:41 pm

Another interesting image of a strange phenomena...
I like Orion Rising...

:---[===] *

Papi

Re: APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by Papi » Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:01 pm

Can anyone identify the ground area? Where in southern Mexico is this? I suspect Yucatan Peninsula but seems too well lit for that.

starsurfer
Stellar Cartographer
Posts: 4565
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by starsurfer » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:23 pm

A question for you all (that I'm hoping Chris Peterson will answer):
If a picture of Earth was taken with a camera and an OIII filter from the International Space Station, would this enhance the airglow?

User avatar
Ron-Astro Pharmacist
Resistored Fizzacist
Posts: 889
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:34 pm
AKA: Fred
Location: Idaho USA

Re: APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:39 pm

Papi wrote:Can anyone identify the ground area? Where in southern Mexico is this? I suspect Yucatan Peninsula but seems too well lit for that.
I believe the link "snapshot taken from another large satellite" provides the location looking at the lower section.
Make Mars not Wars

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 16214
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:55 pm

starsurfer wrote:A question for you all (that I'm hoping Chris Peterson will answer):
If a picture of Earth was taken with a camera and an OIII filter from the International Space Station, would this enhance the airglow?
I don't think so. An OIII filter blocks everything except 501 nm. But this component isn't a part of the airglow spectrum, which is dominated by the 558 nm atomic oxygen line (and contains a number of other lines, as well). So if you wanted to enhance airglow, a 558 nm filter would be the one to use. But even a broad green filter should increase the airglow contrast.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
MarkBour
Subtle Signal
Posts: 1187
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:44 pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by MarkBour » Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:36 pm

ZebraStripes wrote:I love APOD, have set it as my home page to learn more every day, as I am an interested, but totally untrained star gazer. My question on this "Sprites from Space" image: In upper right corner, there appears to be a reddish 'shooting star'. Two questions -- Is it a 'shooting star'? and... Does it's red color relate to the Red Sprite below (and to the left)?
If you're referring to this item at the upper right of the image:
Detail.jpg
Many images shot from the ISS show pieces of the station in and around the edges of the images. I suspect this is an arm or strut on something.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Mark Goldfain

phoenix900
Asternaut
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:02 am
Location: So Cal

Re: APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by phoenix900 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:37 pm

Should have included your link to blue jets :)

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap951112.html

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 18560
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: Sprites from Space (2015 Aug 21)

Post by neufer » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:09 pm

Ron-Astro Pharmacist wrote:
Papi wrote:
Can anyone identify the ground area? Where in southern Mexico is this? I suspect Yucatan Peninsula but seems too well lit for that.
I believe the link "snapshot taken from another large satellite" provides the location looking at the lower section.
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=86463 wrote:
<<As the ISS was over the coastal Mexican resort of Acapulco, the crew documented a red sprite over a brilliant white thundercloud and lightning discharge near the coast of El Salvador. City lights [Tegucigalpa? Managua?] are a diffuse yellow because they are shining through clouds.>>
Art Neuendorffer