February 26, 2014
(29 Oct. 2011) --- This unusual photograph, captured by one of the Expedition 29 crew members aboard the International Space Station, highlights the reentry plasma trail (center) of Progress 42P (M-10M) supply vehicle. Progress 42P docked at the space station on April 29, 2011, and was undocked and de-orbited approximately 183 days later on Oct. 29, 2011. The ISS was located over the southern Pacific Ocean when this image was taken. Light from the rising sun illuminates the curvature of the Earth limb (horizon line) at top, but does not completely overwhelm the airglow visible at image top left. Airglow is caused by light emitted at specific wavelengths by atoms and molecules excited by ultraviolet radiation in the upper atmosphere.
Topics: Progress spacecraft, Spaceflight, Observational astronomy, Atmosphere of Earth, Airglow, Progress, International Space Station, Plasma physics