Incredible Photo Of UK ‘Weather Bomb’ Caught From Space

Among the wide array of otherworldly images astronauts often provide us of space and planet Earth, one of recent significantly stands out. NASA astronaut, Commander Terry W. Virts, amazingly captured a spectacular scene from aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, December 11th: The moment a powerful “weather bomb” storm swept over the United Kingdom.

Virts, a veteran astronaut who has logged more than 4,300 flight hours in over 40 different aircrafts, managed to take a photo of a major storm that sparked across the UK last week. The snapshot was enhanced by the combination of lightning and a unique electrical phenomenon known as aurora, which is created by the rare interaction of charged particles from the sun entering the Earth’s atmosphere. This unusual fusion of elements caused a natural light display in the sky, and a timelessly stunning photo.

“Amazing photo timing!” He wrote along with the image on Twitter. “Lightning from the storm off the UK last week with Aurora.”

Meanwhile, the storm down below crashed over northern parts of England, as well as Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Gale force winds, heavy rain, and snow hammered the areas, leaving thousands stranded and without power.

The storm itself has been termed a “weather bomb,” making it sound fatal to say the least. The usage of the word “bomb” derives from the meteorological term, “explosive cyclogenesis,” which is when cold, dry air from the stratosphere feeds into a developing area of low pressure. Thus, resulting in a sudden, explosive intensification of the low-pressure system.

However, weather bombs don’t normally take place: the stratosphere lies above an altitude of 10 to 15 kilometers and the air up there usually tends to stay where it is.

Seemingly, weather bombs are likely to be triggered by changes in narrow, fast-flowing currents of oxygen high above the Earth’s surface known as jet streams. And as puts it: “The North Atlantic polar front jet stream is a key player in an ever-present but varying meteorological battleground where warm, moist tropical air masses meet cold polar air from further north. This week the jet stream has been very vigorous with core speeds of up to 200 mph, about twice as fast as normal.”

We can’t say we’re glad the UK has faced such harsh weather as of late, but we are nonetheless grateful for Virts’ stunning visual aftermath of it.