Living Earth

gallery three: beauty and harmony with all life

p56-dead_sea_salt
Dead Sea Salt, Jordan. photography | Hassacn Bushnaq, Wikimedia Commons
Flourite crystals with pyrite. Photographed at the Natural History Museum, Milan, Italy.. photography | Giovanni Dali’ Orto, Wikimedia Commons
Flourite crystals with pyrite. Photographed at the Natural History Museum, Milan, Italy.. photography | Giovanni Dali’ Orto, Wikimedia Commons
Strokkur Geyser, Iceland. photography | Jerzy Strzelecki Wikimedia Commons
Strokkur Geyser, Iceland. photography | Jerzy Strzelecki Wikimedia Commons
Pahoehoe fountain.  photography | courtesy US Geological Survey
Pahoehoe fountain. photography | courtesy US Geological Survey
sunrise Bodrum Turkey. photography | above, ©Newt Dilmen
sunrise Bodrum Turkey. photography | above, ©Newt Dilmen
©Tamas Ladanyi
©Tamas Ladanyi


In this serene night skyscape, the Milky Way’s graceful arc stretches over prominent peaks in the Italian Alps known as Tre Cime di Lavaredo. A 180 degree wide-angle panorama made in four exposures on August 24, the scene does look to the north and the sky is suffused with an eerie greenish light. Still, the subtle glowing bands are not aurorae, but airglow. Unlike aurorae powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction, and found around the globe. The chemical energy is provided by the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet radiation. Like aurorae, the greenish hue of this airglow does originate at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so dominated by emission from excited oxygen atoms. More easily seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.