This picture has been all over the blogs.
I don't want to talk about this picture too much - that has been done (a good summary discussion can be found at Bad Astronomy). Apparently, this is some type of rocket mistake or something.
Although the picture is cool, it is not as cool as this simulation that someone made.
Here is the best shot from the video:
Maybe that picture didn't turn out so well. The point is that someone made a simulation (I assume it is a simulation, and not just an animation). How do you know if a simulation is any good? You look and see how well it compares with real data. The real data in this case is the picture.
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NASA has done experiments to create clouds of material above the atmosphere. Recently they released 220 pounds of aluminum oxide power at 174 miles height. There was a water dump during the early days of the space program. Experiments like these have been done a number of times.
the spiral in the simulation goes in the opposite direction to that in the photo. Therefore this is proof that the loch ness monster exists.
Actually it looks more like a projection image from the ground. It's like the batman sign except its a moving image. You can see the beam of light particles to the centre of this thing and the rotation is followed with proportional rotation of the beam.
A simple question for which I can't find an answer: Why do you have to collimate light spectroscopy? What would happen if you didn't collimate it?
good question. I think the answer will involve pictures, so give me some time and I will make it a post.