NASA Reveals Breathtaking Photo of Lightning Strike in Moonlight From Space

by Megan Molseed
(Getty Images/Vinicio Chirivi / EyeEm)

A stunning photo released by NASA captured in an out-of-this-world context. This pic features an awe-inspiring view of the moonlight highlighted by a striking bolt of lighting.

This wild image is a view from the heavens as an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) looked down at our planet. And, this unbelievable image features two mind-blowing images all together in one snapshot.

NASA Shares a Gorgeous Pic Featuring the Breathtaking View of the Moon and a Bolt of Lighting

An astronaut looking down on the planet from the International Space Station (ISS) shares something phenomenal going on. The image may seem otherworldly. However, it is very much of this world. As it highlights a striking result of inclement weather in the glow of the moon.

The stunning image was captured by a member of the Expedition 66 crew onboard the ISS as the space station passed over the South China Sea. The lighting pictured in the image is a strike that hit somewhere in the Gulf of Thailand, experts note.

Many Lightning Strikes Aren’t Visible From Above Under the Storm Clouds

Strikes of lighting aren’t often seen from the ISS. This is because where there is lighting, there are often clouds covering the area. However, this specific strike was visible from the space station through a gap in the clouds. Because of this, the pic is extra illuminating as the lighting strike lights up the walls of this hole in the clouds. Creating a beautiful ring of light.

The moon is seen next to this phenomenon. It’s an amazing view, no doubt.

The orientation of the moon in relation to the International Space Station means the sun’s light that is reflecting on the satellite hits in a very specific way. This turns the moon into a blue circle with a hazy halo. According to experts, this hazy halo effect is a result of the moonlight scattering on particles within the Earth’s atmosphere.

It is this same general process at work when we see a blue sky appear during a cloudless day. The blue wavelengths of the sunlight scatter more easily…making them more visible to the human eye, NASA scientists note.

In addition to the striking images of the moon and the bolt of lighting, the glow from Thailand’s lights is apparent in the image. The most brightly lit areas in the pic, NASA officials note are Vietnam and Hainan Island.