Thunderstorm over Cuba. Credits: ESA/DTU Space

Thunderstorm over Cuba. Credits: ESA/DTU Space

ESA astronaut Andresa Mogensen has taken the first images of thunderclouds during his iriss mission on the International Space Station. The images will improve our understanding of thunderstorms and lightning.

Andreas took images of thunderclouds over Mexico and the Caribbean from 400 km high. The Belgian User Science Operations Center that supported the experiment report that the shooting was easy and straightforward.

The images were received with enthusiasm at the Danish university DTU. The principal investigator for the Thor experiment, Torsten Neubert says:

”The main purpose of Andreas’s Thor experiment is to test the procedure, to see if the concept of imaging storms from space for scientific purposes holds. I must say, it is a real success. The images are razor-sharp, and exactly, what I had hoped to see. They show where the clouds reach high into the atmosphere pulling up water to the edge of the stratosphere. Next step is to couple the images with lightning data and cloud data from regular weather satellites.”

Clouds over norhtern South America. Credits: ESA-DTU Space

Clouds over northern South America. Credits: ESA-DTU Space