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

Lego are hiring someone to literally just build models all day

Everything is awesome... as long as your CV is up to scratch

by Matt Tate
28 Mar 2017

Something terrible is happening in Mick Hucknall's bath

I wish I could turn back the years and never see into Mick's world

by Sam Diss
28 Mar 2017

James Blunt and Ed Miliband are bantering on Twitter and it's weird

Welcome to 2017

by Dave Fawbert
28 Mar 2017

Donald Trump is scared of coasters

Not rollercoasters, drink coasters

by Alex Finnis
28 Mar 2017

You can get your hands on a shiny new £1 coin from today

Money money money, it must be funny

by Dave Fawbert
28 Mar 2017

Val Kilmer is being really weird about Cate Blanchett on Twitter

Chill out, mate

by Emily Reynolds
27 Mar 2017

There is now scientific proof that cats are nice

We knew it

by Gary Ogden
27 Mar 2017

People are tricking kids with gross fake Peppa Pig videos on YouTube

Please take the internet away from these people

by Emily Reynolds
27 Mar 2017

A florist next to a park in London is selling sticks for a bargain £18

And guess what, people are buying them

by Gary Ogden
27 Mar 2017

James Blunt: 'You're Beautiful' is actually about "some kind of perv"

And if you like it you're "fucked up", apparently

by Emily Reynolds
27 Mar 2017