We take for granted how fireworks look from almost any angle. After all, we are used to seeing them several times a year, with the end of the year being the peak time to observe them from wherever we stand. But, Have you ever wondered what they look like from space?
Even when we are on our home planet celebrating with lights of all colors in the sky, many times the astronauts cannot be part of this group. Many of them spend long periods of time on the International Space Station, so they miss out on the show that takes place on dry land.
Of course, fortunately they can communicate with us in real time, and they have let us know how do they see these celebrations from the cold vacuum of space.
So what do they look like from space?
In most of the occasions fireworks do not have the necessary brightness to leave a legacy that travels through space. In addition, the current climate also affects whether they can be seen outside the planet, with clear weather moments being the most ideal for light to reach places as far away as the International Space Station.
If you’re really lucky with the dark and the weather, you can sometimes get a glimpse of the fireworks from space. Happy 4th of July!
Chris Hadfield, the famous astronaut that you have probably seen wringing out a wet rag in space, was one of these lucky ones during the celebration of the 4th of July in 2018. It was thanks to the aforementioned that now we know what fireworks look like from spaceand while they’re not exactly what we’d hoped for, it must feel pretty special when you’re many hundreds of miles above home.
You don’t really see the fireworks in all their glory. You can only see some colored dots quite small about some of the towns. This is considering that the ISS is flying in a low orbit, quite close to Earth. So don’t expect to see aliens reveling in the wondrous colors of fireworks in Time Square during New Year’s.
In 2014, Andre Kuipers, a former astronaut at the European Space Agency, also recalls seeing fireworks. As was the experience of Chris Hadfield, Kuipers he also saw colored dots while he was in space over Warsaw, Poland.