Astronomy Picture of the Day



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#52935 by @ 14.10.2004 00:00 - nach oben -
Contrail Clutter over Georgia


Explanation:
Artificial clouds made by humans may become
so common they change the Earth's climate.

The long thin cloud streaks that dominate the
above satellite photograph of
Georgia are
contrails,
cirrus clouds created by airplanes.

The

exhaust of an airplane engine can create a
contrail by saturating the surrounding air with extra moisture. The wings of a plane can similarly
create contrails
by dropping the temperature and causing small ice-crystals to form.

Contrails have become more than an oddity - they may be
significantly increasing the cloudiness of Earth,
reflecting sunlight back into space by day, and
heat radiation back to
Earth even at night.

The effect on climate is a topic of much
research.

You can help NASA measure the actual abundance of contrails by participating in a
contrail counting exercise that runs over the next two days.



Partial Solar Eclipse
visible from Alaska, Hawaii, Northeastern Asia


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