The US-based space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has shared a series of eye-catching pictures of northern lights captured by one of its earth observatory satellite. Just a few hours after the occurrence of the winter solstice, a bunch of active particles from the Sun bumped into the magnetic ground of Earth, which eventually stirred up an astonishing display of northern lights. NASA’s satellite, Suomi NPP which is one of NASA’s Earth Observing and weather Spaceships clicked this stunning view on 22nd December 2016.
Giving more details about this natural phenomenon, Earth Observatory of NASA said that, the hours of darkness after the winter solstice, the spacecraft of NASA, the Suomi NPP clicked the sights of the northern lights, or aurora borealis, which is extended across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut and northwest territories in Canada.
Only 2 days before Christmas, infrared images of Aurora Borealis gleaming over northern Canada has brought up an additional reason to make merry. With the “day-night band” (DNB) of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), the Suomi NPP satellite clicked the stunning views of the aurora borealis on December 22. Aurora Borealis is spread over British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut and Northwest Territories, and all of these areas are those which frequently fall under the auroral oval.
The onboard sensor of Suomi NPP distinguished the noticeable light discharges as vivacious particles poured down from Earth’s magnetosphere onto the gasses of the upper atmosphere. The crash of sunlight based particles and its pressure into earth’s magnetosphere quickens particles caught in the radiation belts of the Earth. Those particles are sent smashing down into the upper atmosphere of the Earth at the heights of 100 to 400 kilometers (60-250 miles), where they energize oxygen and nitrogen atoms and discharge photons of light.
As described by the scientists of NASA, the Day-Night Band or DNB is capable of detecting the signals of dim light like auroras, reflected moonlight, and airglow, gas flares. According to the report published by Live Science on Wednesday, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite of Suomi NPP clicked the views of the northern lights from 824 km above the Earth.