NASA Releases Photo of Ireland from Space for St. Patrick's Day
Today, NASA celebrated St. Patrick's Day by releasing a true-color photo of a beautifully green Ireland from space:
NASA captured the above image in October 2010 with their Aqua satellite. The timing of the photo was crucial, as they managed to catch Ireland in a rare state of cloudlessness during a brief window of time during the year in which Irish weather alternates between rainstorms from the west and cool, dry weather brought by high-pressure systems called anticyclones.
In their Facebook caption, NASA stated, "It is easy to see from this true-color image why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle. Intense green vegetation, primarily grassland, covers most of the country except for the exposed rock on mountaintops. Ireland owes its greenness to moderate temperatures and moist air. The Atlantic Ocean, particularly the warm currents in the North Atlantic Drift, gives the country a more temperate climate than most others at the same latitude."
Astronauts Chris Hadfield and Terry Virts also celebrated St. Patrick's Day by sharing pictures of the Emerald Isle from space:
Virts and Hadfield have both shared pictures of Ireland from space in the past, both with auroras circling overhead:
A clear Dublin night in early Spring. pic.twitter.com/V53DJ8JIMk— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) April 9, 2013
And NASA, for their part, celebrated once again on Twitter with a picture of the Earth wearing green: