earthterminator_iss002_920The terminator, that is, the line between day and night, on the airless moons pictured here from time to time, is a firm line. No such sharp boundary marks the boundary between day and night in this picture of ocean and clouds on Earth. Instead, the shadow line is diffuse and shows the gradual transition to darkness as twilight falls. The Sun illuminates the scene from the right, and the cloud tops reflect gently reddened sunlight filtered through the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere. The upper atmosphere scatters blue sunlight and fades into the blackness of space.

This picture actually was taken in June, 2001, from the International Space Station orbiting at an altitude of 390 km.

Image Credit: NASA

2 thoughts on “Twilight

  1. I wonder, with the International Space Station orbiting at the altitude it does, why have we not seen any pictures of it or from it, as it passes through or by an Aurora Borealis ?

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