January 6, 2014
(29 Jan. 2012) --- Southeastern USA at night is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 30 crew member on the International Space Station. The brightly lit metropolitan areas of Atlanta, GA (center) and Jacksonville, FL (lower right) appear largest in the image with numerous other urban areas forming an interconnected network of light across the region. A large dark region to the northwest of Jacksonville, FL is the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge; likewise the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains form dark swaths to the north of Atlanta, GA and west of Charlotte, NC (center). The faint gold and green line of airglow—caused by ultraviolet radiation exciting the gas molecules in the upper atmosphere—parallels the horizon (or Earth limb).
Topics: Observational astronomy, Plasma physics, Geography of the United States, Environment, Atmosphere of Earth, light sources, Airglow, Okefenokee Swamp, Southern United States, Jacksonville, Florida, Meteorology, Atmospheric sciences