Rocky Mountains From Orbit

Rocky Mountains From Orbit

Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency photographed the Rocky Mountains from his vantage point in low Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station. He shared the image with his social media followers on Jan. 9, 2017, writing, "the Rocky mountains are a step too high – even for the clouds to cross." Image Credit: ESA/NASA

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Lightning over Colorado

Lightning over Colorado

Have you ever watched a lightning storm in awe? Join the crowd. Oddly, nobody knows exactly how lightning is produced. What is known is that charges slowly separate in some clouds causing rapid electrical discharges (lightning), but how electrical charges get separated in clouds remains a topic of much research. Lightning usually takes a jagged course, rapidly heating a thin column of air to about three times the surface temperature of the Sun. The resulting shock wave starts supersonically and decays into the loud sound known as thunder.

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