national

Tsunami shot glowing waves into sky

17 Comments

The tsunami that devastated Japan in March and sent awesome waves of water across the Pacific Ocean also sent glowing waves into the sky, a phenomenon scientists caught on camera.

The massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck below the seafloor on March 11 sent waves of energy rushing through the ocean. That energy created the monstrous and deadly tsunami, but the tsunami itself sent waves of energy racing high into the atmosphere, smashing charged and neutral particles together as they went, which created so-called "airglow," Science News reported.

Scientists operating a camera atop a mountain in Hawaii caught the airglow on film, a first, the researchers said.

"It's just total serendipity that we got this measurement," Jonathan Makela, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign told Science News. "It’s a really neat example of how the environment is coupled together."

Tsunami sky waves are a grand affair. The waves can travel higher than 180 miles (300 km) above the Earth, equivalent to a trip from Chicago to Indianapolis. Their peaks and valleys are meters, sometimes hundreds of meters apart; their horizontal wavelengths — the distance from one peak to the next — can be several hundred kilometers.

Scientists have measured these atmospheric waves using GPS instruments in the past, but the new photograph from Hawaii is the first actual image of these waves in action.

Those who have studied these waves extensively have said that with the proper observational tools in place, these tsunami sky waves could complement current early warning systems for the deadly, terrestrial waves.

© Our Amazing Planet

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
Login to comment

...and the links for the images/videoes are???

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Awesome! Didn't even know this phenomenon existed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Very cool.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Like others, I've never heard anything like this. How does an ocean tsunami affect the atmosphere?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

pictures, please

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where are the photos of them?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting article. I just googled around for more info and came across this article from last year:

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/article832429.ece

It uses the same paragraph as:

Tsunami sky waves are a grand affair. The waves can travel higher than 180 miles (300 km) above the Earth, equivalent to a trip from Chicago to Indianapolis. Their peaks and valleys are meters, sometimes hundreds of meters apart; their horizontal wavelengths — the distance from one peak to the next — can be several hundred kilometers.

??? I wonder where this article comes from originally?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here's a pic http://thehivedaily.com/blog/2011/06/18/tsunami-lit-up-the-heavens-%E2%80%9Cairglow%E2%80%9D-energy-release-recorded/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very cool Smorkian. Am going to read it now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dear Smorkian,

thanks for your link. The text you are referring to is written in a much better way, than the article here in JT.

It seems the JT author had some miss-understanding of several wave phenomena. Probably JT should cut out the word "glowing" in the headline. If the topic is gravitational waves, then the wave itself does not glow. The only thing that might happen is that the already existing glow of the plasma in the upper stratosphere or ionosphere is intensity modulated by the gravity wave, and yes, this can be observed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I´d like to see a photo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@genkigonzo: Thanks for the link.. Picture looks awesome. Looks like the opening credits to any Universal Studios picture.

The earth and nature is so amazing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Those pics look awesome. Unforgettable. The aura of Mother Earth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Genkigonzo: Thanks for the link. That is just impressive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ditto Genkigonzo ... thanks for the pic info. Fascinating photo ... plus the fact of the aura itself ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sure this glow wasn't from a nuclear detonation ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Scientists operating a camera atop a mountain in Hawaii caught the airglow on film

If the picture (Genkigonzo's link) is taken from atop a mountain, this is one hell of a peak! Looks more like an aurora caught from a satellite.

The report will appear in an upcoming Geophysical Research Letters.

Maybe we will get the actual picture then? Which brings us back to the news: doesn't making news from it require to post the picture?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites