57.1 MB (57.0 MB compressed)
5472 x 3648 pixels
46.2 x 31.0 cm ⏐ 18.2 x 12.2 in (300dpi)
JEFF DAI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEFF DAI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Banded airglow in the night sky due to atmospheric gravity waves, with photographers at lower right. Airglow is a phenomenon where a planetary atmosphere emits a faint glow when atoms are excited by sunlight. The banding of this glow is caused here by gravity waves in the atmosphere, where weather systems generate large waves as buoyant air masses rise and sink due to the effects of gravity, often as a flow of air meets mountains. These atmospheric gravity waves, at an altitude of around 90 kilometres, were caused by violent thunderstorms over Bangladesh (300 kilometres away) resulting in wind flow over the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. Photographed over China on 27 April 2014.
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