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An astronaut in space has recorded a ‘first of its kind’ video of mysterious blue jets

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We’re used to lightning that shoots down from clouds, but a lesser-known form of electricity blasts up from cloud tops — and out toward space.

Called blue jets, these gigantic electrical discharges are rarely photographed. Typically, only pilots who fly over active thunderstorms see or photograph them. Satellites have recorded them, too, but not very well.

However, an astronaut in space has recorded a first-of-its-kind color video of elusive blue jets, according to a January 2017 study in Geophysical Research Letters.

Researchers behind the study asked European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Morgensen to perform the “Thor experiment,” named after the Norse god of lightning, back in 2015. His mission: film thunderstorms from the International Space Station (ISS), located some 250 miles above Earth, with a very sensitive video camera.

Morgensen ended up filming a particularly active storm cell over India’s Bay of Bengal, and in the footage he managed to catch this oddity

Right after lightning from below the storm illuminates the clouds, you can see the blue-purple cone of a blue jet pulsate a little, then finally shoot out of the cloud tops.

It rises more than 10 kilometers (6 miles) high, and then fades away:

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Here’s a close-up of the blue jet that Morgensen recorded:

An elusive blue jet photographed from space.

Blue jets move at speeds of more than 220,000 mph (360,000 kph), according to the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

They fan out like cones as they move up, at least until they reach a height of roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) — halfway to the edge of space — at which point they vanish.

A red sprite photographed from space.

It’s devilishly hard to photograph blue jets and their higher-altitude cousins, red sprites. In fact, researchers have been studying them closely only since the 1990s.

But Morgensen nailed his mission to document them.

“The observations […] are the most spectacular of their kind,” the researchers wrote, noting this was thanks to an unusually active thunderstorm, the astronaut’s viewing angle, and the high resolution of his camera. “They reveal new aspects of discharge processes at cloud tops, including a pulsating blue jet[.]”

Blue jets aren’t just a curious phenomenon. Like red sprites, they could play a vital role in shaping the air we breathe by combining and breaking apart different types of atmospheric molecules.

But for now “it’s something that we know very little about,” Morgensen said in an ESA video.

The astronaut says a follow-up mission, called the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor, will soon launch to the space station and more closely study blue jets and other high-altitude phenomena, including meteors.

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Health & Lifestyle

TOP 8 MAGNIFICENT EYES FROM AROUND WORLD

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1. A perfect contrast of warm skin tone and bright-colored eyes.

1. A perfect contrast of warm skin tone and bright-colored eyes.

There is something strange about this beautiful pair of eyes that will not want you to look away, not even for a minute. They look very attractive and eye-catchy. The blueness of her eyes looks so calming. Her skin colour and colour of her eyes, even though is an unusual combination but is very enchanting.

2. Attention drawing eye colour.

2. Attention drawing eye colour.

It is actually hard to look away from her blue eyes.

3. It is bliss to watch this duo!

3. It is bliss to watch this duo!

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The sisters seem to be blessed effortlessly.

4. Have you ever had a glimpse of eyes so green?

4. Have you ever had a glimpse of eyes so green?

Profound!

5. Her eyes speak her mind…

5. Her eyes speak her mind...

Absolutely breath-taking, she has a mirror in them.

6. What word would you like to give to these eyes?

6. What word would you like to give to these eyes?

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Gorgeous, stunning or simply out of the world?

7. Flawless tint.

7. Flawless tint.

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Those aqua blue eyes, so perfect!

8. She is a turquoise fantasy!

8. She is a turquoise fantasy!

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Prettiest girl in the world, I must say.

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Nature

The World’s 10 Best Places to Visit On Vacation.

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The world is full of diverse destinations that are waiting to be explored. But with so many options, it can be hard to narrow down your bucket list. That’s why U.S. News used a methodology that takes into account expert and editor analysis and reader votes to determine which destinations qualify for a spot on the list of the World’s Best Places to Visit. This year’s ranking includes sprawling European metropolises, picturesque Caribbean islands, quaint mountain towns and exquisite natural wonders that are sure to wow every type of traveler.

St. Lucia's Twin Pitons framed by flowers
Jackson Lake Magic at Jackson Hole in Wyoming
Sunset above Vermilion Lakes, Banff National Park, Canada.
Aerial view of Macchu Picchu ruins in remote landscape, Cusco, Peru
Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Whitsunday Islands, Australia.
Long exposure of cars driving down Main St. in Park City, Utah.
palm tree overhanging the water at a beach resort on Peter Island, British Virgin Islands
High angle view of Catarata del Toro waterfall at sunset, Costa Rica.
Merced River and El Capitan at Yosemite National Park.
Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean
Panoramic view from the Baluarte del Mirador. San Sebastian/Donostia (Guipuzcoa).
Wooded bridge pier between sunset in Phuket.
Aerial photo of Breckenridge Colorado in autumn.
Part of the Vancouver skyline, seen from Olympic Village at the end of False Creek. In the foreground is the ramp down to the watertaxi dock, with the geodesic dome of the Science Museum behind, along with some apartment buildings and offices on Quebec Street.

1. St. Lucia
Lush rainforests, majestic mountains and romantic resorts are all reasons to visit this Caribbean island. A haven for honeymooners, St. Lucia offers the perfect mix of seclusion, relaxation and adventure. To take in the spectacular landscape, plan to hike the Piton Mountains or snorkel and scuba dive in the waters of Anse Chastanet.

2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Tucked away less than 60 miles south of Yellowstone National Park, Jackson Hole sees an influx of winter travelers looking to hit the slopes at upscale ski resorts. But you’d be remiss to think that’s all there is to do in this small Wyoming town. Visit the neighboring Grand Teton National Park for awe-inspiring vistas, catch a glimpse of majestic animals at the National Elk Refuge or relax sore muscles in the Granite Hot Springs.

3. Banff, Alberta
This Canadian destination will bring out the explorer in anyone who visits. From hiking and whitewater rafting to skiing and snowboarding, Banff offers travelers an abundance of year-round outdoor activities. The Lake Louise Ski Resort is one of the largest in North America and the striking photo ops of the Canadian Rockies from Moraine Lake can’t be underestimated.

4. Machu Picchu 
According to travelers, a visit to this Peruvian UNESCO World Heritage site is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Located in the Andes Mountains, the lost city of the Incas features 12 acres of temples, aqueducts and gardens for travelers to discover. Spend a few days acclimating to the altitude in the neighboring city of Cusco, where you can soak up a mix of Incan and Spanish cultures.

5. Great Barrier Reef
It’s easy to see why the Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – it stretches nearly 1,500 miles along the eastern coastline of Australia and features 3,000 coral reefs, 600 islands and more than 1,600 species of fish. Travelers can see these amazing natural structures from the air or underwater. However, large amounts of coral bleaching (caused by rising ocean temperatures) threaten to destroy this massive marine life habitat, so plan your visit soon to see this awesome sight up close.

6. Park City, Utah
For a luxury ski vacation, look no further than Park City. Popular upscale mountain resorts, specifically Deer Valley and Park City Mountain, provide some of the best ski conditions in the U.S. Even if you’re not a powder hound, sites like the Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway and Utah Olympic Park will keep you entertained. For a dose of culture, plan your visit in January, when celebrities descend on the town for the annual Sundance Film Festival.

7. The British Virgin Islands
One look at the aquamarine waters that surround the British Virgin Islands and you’ll see why they’re consistently rated a top Caribbean destination. Sure, other islands have white sand beaches too, but the British Virgin Islands aren’t crowded with megaresorts or cruise ports. Instead, the chain of 60 islands values exclusivity and luxury, so you’ll want to bring your credit card along.

8. Costa Rica
Nature enthusiasts looking to go off the grid should travel to Costa Rica. Home to a diverse landscape of tropical rainforests, volcanic mountains, pristine beaches and wildlife reserves, this Central American country draws adventure seekers and animal lovers alike. Explore the Nicoya Peninsula before heading to the remote Tortuguero National Park to spot exotic wildlife.

9. Tahiti, French Polynesia
From luxurious bungalows suspended over clear turquoise waters to lush vegetation and stunning waterfalls, Tahiti is all about basking in the colorful landscape. The largest island in French Polynesia is ideal for those seeking solitude, but areas like La Plage de Maui and Plage du Taharuu are also popular with tourists.

10. San Sebastian, Spain
You’re probably familiar with Spanish hot spots like Madrid and Barcelona, but the northern coastal town of San Sebastian deserves a spot on your bucket list, too. Known for its gorgeous beaches and unique culture, San Sebastian offers a small-town atmosphere influenced by Basque Country. Foodies are also in for a treat as the region is famous for its pintxos – the Basque version of tapas. Explore the city’s pintxos bars on your own or with an organized tour group.

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Nature

Man Gets Paralyzed After Playing Video Games For 20 Hours

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A man became paralyzed from the waist down after playing video games continuously for some 20 hours at an internet cafe last week. As paramedics carried the gaming fan to the hospital on a stretcher, he begged his friends to keep on playing his unfinished game for him, according to a report on Chinese media.

The man, who remains unidentified, allegedly started playing the game from the evening of January 27 until his friends called for an ambulance in the afternoon of January 28.

According to Chinese news site QQ.com, the man was trying to go to the toilet when he realized he couldn’t move the lower part of his body at an internet cafe in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province.

One of his friends, who was at the scene, was quoted saying: ‘It seems he had lost sensation completely, and couldn’t move at all. We had to call for an ambulance.’

It remains unclear what game the man had been playing.

A video released by Pear shows the man’s friend and paramedics working together to move the man from a chair to a stretcher.

The man is reportedly under hospital observation.

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