Categories: Astronomy

A Ghastly Green Shade On The Space Station Evokes Hallowe’en Spirit

Woah, is that home to six people in space now some sort of a ghoul? Here is a video of the International Space Station in an odd shade of … green. And no, it’s not because astronauts secretly painted the hull during their spacewalk this week.

What you’re actually seeing is a green laser shining on the space station as part of a test of next-generation communications technologies. Lasers have been used in successful tests to the Moon and the space station in the past year, hinting that perhaps there’s a faster way to transmit data than over traditional radio.

The clip was filmed at the European Space Agency’s optical ground station in Tenerife, Spain, on Oct. 8 as part of a social media event. Below, you can see a shot of the laser in action, aiming at the sky. More photos are here.

A green laser shines out into space at an October 2014 social media event at the European Space Agency’s optical ground station in Spain. Credit: Daniel Lopez/IAC
Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

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