Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Astonishing NASA rocket launch into aurora

au1.jpg
new.jpg
au2.jpg

So mesmerising is the sight of an aurora - that splendid looking luminous sheet of highly charged electrical and magnetic current hanging high above earth’s atmosphere - mankind has frequently (and literally) travelled to the ends of the earth to marvel at its wonder.

Now, however, a group of wily NASA-funded scientists have gone one better, launching a rocket into the belly of this natural phenomenon in the hope of studying the curls the aurora weaves into darkened skies and, in turn, have provided us with some stunning imagery of the event.

Fired from Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska on 3 March, the instrument entitled GREECE (The Ground-to-Rocket Electrodynamics – Electron Correlative Experiment) flew through the sky for ten minutes, which you can see from these shots taken as it whizzed over the sleepy village of Venetie.

Much more than mere jaw-dropping imagery, of course, the team believe the data captured will help to better understand the aurora, and movement of plasma in general, and, with it, how energy and particles from the sun interact with Earth's own magnetic system.

To find out more about the GREECE mission, click here:

(Images: NASA/Christopher Perry)

Related

main.jpg

Incredible vintage NASA photos

sandra-bullock-gravity.jpg

The 10 most terrifying space films ever

hero1.jpg

House With Space Shuttle Cockpit in Loft for Sale

spacejacket4.jpg

Stylish Space Jacket

space1.jpg

Gorgeous spaceship watch

gravity-short.jpg

The Gravity spin-off you didn't know about

Comments

More

This thought-provoking letter on the Manchester bombing is going viral

"Forty-eight hours ago Salman Abedi tried to kill my daughter"

by Dave Fawbert
26 May 2017

Katie Hopkins has left LBC and the station's hosts are, well, guess

And she's outta there

26 May 2017

Here's a list of the crazy things British people would do for money

Would you sell an organ for £100,000?

by Gary Ogden
26 May 2017

Teacher gives pupil an award for "Most Likely To Be A Terrorist"

100% unbelievable, yet true

by Gary Ogden
26 May 2017

George R. R. Martin looks like hipster Jon Snow int his #TBT photo

Before winter was even cool

by Matt Tate
26 May 2017

Bald men rejoice! Scientists have finally found out why we go bald

Everything we ever dreamed of

by Gary Ogden
26 May 2017

Lack of sleep can literally make your brain eat itself

Sweet dreams everyone

by Dave Fawbert
26 May 2017

Mexican politician roasted for his ridiculous campaign hashtag

WE NEED A HASHTAG, QUICK!

by Gary Ogden
26 May 2017

How to contact the police when you're too scared to speak out loud

Spread the word

by Alex Finnis
26 May 2017

Walkers just found out why you should never, ever trust social media

Gary Lineker's been in some interesting company

by Alex Finnis
26 May 2017