NASA video: A Display of Lights Above the Storm

October 13, 2017

Check out this cool video by NASA explaining Transient Luminous Events or basically flashes and glows called blue jets, red sprites and other TLEs that appear above storms.

Blue jets pulse from the tops of intense thunderstorms and reach up toward the edge of space. Red sprites are glows in the upper atmosphere, tied to the presence of large lightning flashes but not attached to the clouds themselves.

The ISS has afforded astronauts the opportunity to photograph a number of natural light shows produced at the tops of thunderstorms as seen in below video…

For more science from above the clouds visit and see more cool lightning posts here

Perseid fireballs are peaking soon (esp Aug 12-13, 2013)

August 9, 2013

perseids fireball NASAWe are fortunate enough to live in a “dark skies” community so we see amazing objects in our night skies like meteors, the Milky Way, the Big and Small Dippers, International Space Station and satellite fly-bys, and much more.

This weekend stargazers will be treated to the annual Perseid (per-see’-id) meteor shower that can be seen with the naked eye (in other words, no telescope required!)

According to NASA, the Perseid meteor shower comes from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Every year in early- to mid-August, Earth passes through a cloud of dust sputtered off the comet as it approaches the sun.

Bill Cooke and his team at of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office have been tracking fireball activity since 2008, and they have built up a database of hundreds of events to analyze. The data point to the Perseids as the ‘fireball champion’ of annual meteor showers.

Since 2008, the Perseids have produced more fireballs than any other annual meteor shower. The Geminids are a close second, but they are not as bright as the Perseids. "The average peak magnitude for a Perseid observed by our cameras is -2.7; for the Geminids, it is -2," explains Bill Cooke. "So on average, Geminid fireballs are about a magnitude fainter than those in the Perseids."

Since 2008, the Perseids have produced more fireballs than any other annual meteor shower. The Geminids are a close second, but they are not as bright as the Perseids, according to Bill Cooke at NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office.

Although the fireball action runs from mid-July to mid-August, reports the peak activity will be on the nights of August 12 and 13 between the hours of 10:30 PM to 4:30 AM local time.  Before midnight the meteor rate will start out low, then will increase as the night wears on, peaking before sunrise when the constellation Perseus is high in the sky.

The Perseid meteor rate from dark-sky sites could top 100 per hour during peak so get as far away from city lights as possible to enjoy the magical light show.

We hope you enjoy today’s Friday Fotos and NASA’s ScienceCast Perseid Fireballs video (also below) and check out some links at the bottom to learn more.

perseid meteor shower david kingham photography

Credit: David Kingham/DavidKinghamPhotography via

perseids nasa sciencecast

perseids nasa sciencecast

Above 2 photos are screenshots from below NASA video

Also check out a breathtaking photo of a Perseid meteor during an aurora … and learn more about meteors, astroids and other events in the night skies at or or .

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂 j & B

Beautiful views from above (photos of North America from NASA satellites and ISS)

July 19, 2013

cleveland alaska volcano by nasa“Space … the final frontier” are famous words from a fave show of many boomers, Gen-Xers and others.

And while NASA provides us with many breathtaking photos of our solar system and beyond, they also share incredible shots of our planet from their satellites and by astronauts in the International Space Station.

We hope you enjoy today’s Friday Fotos with a short description of each provided by The Weather Channel and NASA. And remember these are just a tiny sampling of earth’s amazing beauty so check out some links below to visit TWC and NASA photo galleries.

 grand canyon national park photo by nasa
The Advanced Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer instrument on NASA’s Terra spacecraft provided this spacebird’s-eye view of the eastern part of Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona in this image, acquired July 14, 2011. (NASA)

crater lake national park Oregon photo by nasa

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. Landsat 5 acquired this image on September 9, 2011. Vegetation is green, bare ground is brown, smoke is white and water is blue. (NASA/GSFC/Landsat)

everglades national park photo by nasa

Everglades National Park in southern Florida is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Known as the ‘river of grass,’ the Everglades wetlands and wooded uplands host a variety of endangered species including crocodiles, manatees, and panthers. (NASA)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park appalachians photo by nasa

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the ridge line of the Appalachian Mountains in the southern United States. The border between Tennessee to the west and North Carolina to the east runs vertically through the middle of the park. (NASA)

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park photo by nasa

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. On March 5, 2011, one of the world’s most active volcanoes—Kilauea—surged with flows of fresh lava and the opening of a new fissure. The eruption touched off a forest fire that burned for much of the month and threatened one of Hawaii’s protected rain forests. (NASA)

bahamas photo from international space station

The south end of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas shimmers in turquoise waters in this 2002 photo from the International Space Station.

See more amazing photos on The Weather Channel site  or visit NASA’s Earth Day gallery and NASA Image Gallery

Stay safe and have a great weekend everyone! 🙂 j & B

Friday Foto: Supernova remnant Cas A

January 18, 2013

Today’s Friday Foto is courtesy of NASA

supernova remnant Cas A

Cas A: Optical and X-ray

Explanation: The aftermath of a cosmic cataclysm, supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (Cas A) is a comfortable 11,000 light-years away. Light from the Cas A supernova, the death explosion of a massive star, first reached Earth just 330 years ago. Still expanding, the explosion’s debris cloud spans about 15 light-years near the center of this composite image. The scene combines color data of the starry field and fainter filaments of material at optical energies with image data from the orbiting NuSTAR X-ray telescope. Mapped to false colors, the X-ray data in blue hues trace the fragmented outer boundary of the expanding shock wave, glowing at energies up to 10,000 times the energy of the optical photons.

Image Credit: X-ray – NASA, JPL-Caltech, NuSTAR; Optical – Ken Crawford (Rancho Del Sol Obs.)

Have a great weekend! j & B

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