When the astronauts return from the International Space Station, the Soyuz capsule carrying them strikes the atmosphere at a speed exceeding 27.000 kilometers per hour. The journey, of about 25 minutes, is only comfortable.
When they look out of the window, all they see is the cloud of superheated plasma - ionized gas - that wraps the capsule for several minutes.
The above GIF file, which created the Gizmodo website, is a small excerpt from a larger one video NASA for the International Space Station.
The "sparks" that are distinguished are produced by the extreme temperature developed due to the friction of the vessel with the atmosphere. The thermal shield in the lower part of the conical capsule is subjected to a temperature above 1.600 degrees Celsius.
A few minutes later, a series of parachutes slows the Soyuz up to five kilometers an hour. One second before the capsule is pulled into the Kazakh steppe, two rocket engines at the bottom of it are energized to further slow down the fall.
Throughout the downhill, passengers are subjected to severe jolts and are subjected to accelerations of several g. One can watch their adventure in an animated GIF that they had present formerly Gizmodo, a quote from a larger educator video of the European Space Agency ESA.