NASA Scientists Observe Electric Blue Clouds in the Mesosphere

NASA Balloon Mission Captures Mystifying Electric Blue Clouds

Credit NASA PMC Turbo Joy Ng

Amid its flight, cameras on board the inflatable caught six million high-goals pictures topping off 120 terabytes of data storage - a large portion of which incorporated an assortment of PMC displays, uncovering the procedures prompting turbulence, NASA said. These clouds, called noctilucent clouds or polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs), are the highest clouds in Earth's atmosphere that form some 50 miles above the surface in mesosphere.

The information collected helped scientists to NASA to find out the cause of the different shades from rare noctilucent or polar mesospheric clouds. Using detailed data from the meteorological sensors, the researchers found that the color of clouds (dark gray to blue) is affected by the presence of small particles of ice that are in the upper atmosphere.

Mr Fritts, of the PMC Turbo mission at Global Atmospheric Technologies and Sciences in Boulder, added that the team hoped the dataset would provide "new insights into these complex dynamics". The waves assume real jobs in exchanging vitality from the lower climate to the mesosphere.

The PMC Turbo balloon payload was equipped with seven specially designed imaging systems to observe the clouds.

"This is the first time we've been able to visualize the flow of energy from larger gravity waves to smaller flow instabilities and turbulence in the upper atmosphere", Fritts said.

"At these altitudes, you can literally see the gravity waves breaking-like ocean waves on the beach-and cascading to turbulence", he added. 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. For the first time, a lidar - or laser radar - measured the precise altitudes of the PMCs as well as the temperature fluctuations of the gravity waves above and below the PMCs. Turbulence happens in fluids over the universe and the outcomes will enable researchers to all the more likely model it in all systems. Ultimately, the results will even help improve weather forecast models.

Scientists want to understand the processes of matter in near-Earth space, including how matter there interacts with Earth's atmosphere and weather.

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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