Afterglow - choose a jigsaw puzzle to solve
Airglow (also called nightglow) is a faint emission of light by a planetary atmosphere. In the case of Earth's atmosphere, this optical phenomenon causes the night sky never to be completely dark, even after the effects of starlight and diffused sunlight from the far side are removed. The airglow phenomenon was first identified in 1868 by Swedish physicist Anders Ångström. Since then, it has been studied in the laboratory, and various chemical reactions have been observed to emit electromagnetic energy as part of the process. Scientists have identified some of those processes that would be present in Earth's atmosphere, and astronomers have verified that such emissions are present. Airglow is caused by various processes in the upper atmosphere of Earth, such as the recombination of atoms which were photoionized by the Sun during the day, luminescence caused by cosmic rays striking the upper atmosphere, and chemiluminescence caused mainly by oxygen and nitrogen reacting with hydroxyl free radicals at heights of a few hundred kilometres. It is not noticeable during the daytime due to the glare and scattering of sunlight. Even at the best ground-based observatories, airglow limits the photosensitivity of optical telescopes. Partly for this reason, space telescopes like Hubble can observe much fainter objects than current ground-based telescopes at visible wavelengths. Airglow at night may be bright enough for a ground observer to notice and appears generally bluish.
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