Watching Weather From Way Above The International Space Station

First Posted: Feb 13, 2017 03:20 AM EST

The astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) get the opportunity to see Earth and what goes on above it from a totally different perspective. Astronauts have been tweeting their amazing experiences, but the people on Earth can just imagine how it would feel like. These astronauts are often given the task to monitor weather phenomenons like thunderstorms and cyclones, their formation and how they dissipate. Thanks to the groundbreaking technological innovations, people can easily access the live footage from ISS cameras.

In a recent event, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Mogensen was given the responsibility of watching and recording the illusive blue lightning over thunderstorm clouds, formed over the Bay of Bengal, Slash Gear reported.

The blue lightning is an extremely rare phenomenon, which is not well understood by climatologists. Since the lightning is formed over thunderclouds at a height of about 17-18 kilometers from the surface of the Earth, the only known information about the clouds comes from pilots who have seen them while flying above the clouds.

In an effort to gain more insights into the blue lightning phenomenon, researchers thought of capturing it from space, and they did manage to get it done. The recorded video was submitted to the National Space Institute, Denmark, and was later released for public viewing.

The video shows that the lightning streak was about 40 kilometers long. The astronaut managed to record 245 such blue light flashes in just under 160 seconds. The beauty and rarity of the event has left its viewers in complete awe, Building A Better World News reported.

ESA's astronaut Andreas Mogensen, who captured the video, said, "It is not every day that you get to capture a new weather phenomenon on film, so I am very pleased with the result..."

This video is a reminder of how much there is to still explore about our planet and how space exploration programs may help us accomplish that in the future. The international Space Station, for example, is a human outpost in low-Earth orbit, which provides immense information about Earth, nearby asteroids, orbiting satellites and much more.

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