27 Jan Viewing auroras from space: The ISS had a great view of a recent geomagnetic storm

Source: DP Review

Undoubtedly, the crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has spectacular views. The ISS and its Cupola observatory module is an awesome vantage for viewing cities at night and even witnessing potentially tragic natural events such as major storms. The crew also gets to see some of nature’s most beautiful displays, auroras.

The International Space Station has an official Twitter account which is a great follow, and the account posted some photos of a recent aurora display. At the time, the ISS’s orbit was as high as 51.6° above the equator. The team also added the new images to ist ever-growing Flickr album of auroras.

‘The International Space Station was orbiting 264 miles above the North Atlantic when this photograph was taken of an aurora streaming above the Earth’s horizon. The Earth’s airglow, an optical phenomenon caused by cosmic rays striking the upper atmosphere, blankets the horizon. Credit: Roscosmos’

You don’t need to be in outer space to view beautiful aurora displays. Auror, often referred to as ‘northern lights’ in the northern hemisphere where they are famously observed in the northern reaches of North America and Europe, results from electrons from space interacting with oxygen and nitrogen gases in Earth’s atmosphere. The electrons transfer energy to molecules in the atmosphere, exciting the molecules. When molecules return to their respective normal states, light energy (photons) is released. If this event occurs in great enough frequency and intensity, you can see

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