The International Space Station Beautifully Captures Earth’s Aurora


The International Space Station’s current Expedition 64 crew has recently shared a few gorgeous photos of Earth’s auroras. The stunning natural colors are thanks to the station’s orbit that takes it as high as 51.6 degrees above the equator.

As explained by Digital Trends, auroras appear when particles from solar storms interact with gases in Earth’s atmosphere. The best places to view auroras on earth are as close to the Arctic Circle as you can get in the Northern Hemisphere, and the far south of Tasmania and New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere.

But from space, moving your orbit into position can reveal the natural phenomenon. Below are the images recently shared to NASA’s Flickr account:

Photo by Roscosmos

The above image was captured on January 18 as the International Space Station was orbiting 264 miles above the North Atlantic. “The Earth’s airglow, an optical phenomenon caused by cosmic rays striking the upper atmosphere, blankets the horizon,” the caption reads.

Photo by Roscosmos

This photo, also captured on January 18, was taken as the ISS was in orbit 263 miles above Romania. The city lights of Sweden and Finland are visible below the aurora above the Earth’s horizon. The dark area in between the two Scandinavian nations is the Baltic Sea.

Photo by Roscosmos
Photo by Roscosmos

The two photos above were taken on January 13 from 264 miles above Kazakhstan and looks north towards Russia where the brightly-lit cities can be seen below the aurora.

Photo by Roscosmos
Photo by Roscosmos

Captured on January 12, these final two photos were both taken over Russia. The first image shows a look between Ukraine and Kazakhstan, while the second is closer to the western border of Kazakhstan.

All the images above were captured on a Nikon D5 with either a 58mm or 85mm lens.

This recently published documentary on NASA’s YouTube channel shows more auroras captured from the space station along with several other stories of what it is like to look down on Earth from above.

(via Digital Trends)





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