NASA Balloon Mission Captures Mystifying Electric Blue Clouds

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 23, 2018

Called noctilucent clouds, or polar mesospheric clouds (PMC), these clouds are visible only in a short interval of time in the Northern Summer just after sunset, notes a report by Fortune Magazine.

Data from these clouds, known as noctilucent clouds or polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs), may help scientists better understand turbulence in the atmosphere, as well as in oceans, lakes and other planetary atmospheres, NASA said in a statement on Thursday.

It turned out that the color of the clouds that is dark gray to blue, is influenced by the presence of shards of ice in the atmosphere. "Our cameras were likely able to capture some really interesting events and we hope we will provide new insights into these complex dynamics". These waves play a major role in transferring energy from the lower atmosphere to the mesosphere.

Polar mesospheric clouds observed by NASA's PMC Turbo mission as it flew over the Arctic in July 2018.

"At these altitudes, you can literally see the gravity waves breaking-like ocean waves on the beach-and cascading to turbulence", he added.

High resolution images did a research space probe PMC Turbo. The seven imaging systems were arranged to create a mosaic of wide views extending one hundred miles across, with each narrow views able to image turbulence features as small as 20 yards wide. The mission is providing scientists with information about the precise measurements of the altitudes of the PMCs as well as the temperature fluctuations of the gravity waves above and below them.

"We know the 2D wave structure from the images, but in order to fully describe the waves we need to measure the third dimension as well", said Bernd Kaifler, the researcher at the German Aerospace Center, in Wessling, Germany, who designed the balloon's lidar experiment. This could reveal the process that leads to turbulence in the atmosphere.

Impressive shots good not only because it visually looks nice, but the fact that a more thorough study of the Earth's atmosphere, weather will be able to make much more accurate.

Understanding an extensive variety of procedures in close Earth space - incorporating how they cooperate with Earth's atmosphere and climate - is a key piece of NASA's heliophysics research about, which utilizes a full squad of satellites and sub-orbital instruments to observe diverse marvels from alternate points of view. NASA also studies noctilucent clouds with the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere, or AIM, spacecraft, which launched in 2007 into a low-Earth orbit. PMC Turbo helps fill in the points of interest, clarifying what occurs at littler scales where turbulence happens.

The scientific instruments aboard the balloon were successfully recovered from the Canadian Arctic, and NASA expects the recovered instruments will contribute to future missions.

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