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Otherworldly lights from Space

international space station aurora borealis aurora australis magnetic sphere

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#1 Hum

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 14:15

The best time to see the aurora borealis here on Earth is during the coldest and darkest nights of the year, so people in the Northern Hemisphere still have a few more nights of ideal viewing. However, here on Earth we only get to see half the show. But luckily for us, the folks orbiting 240 miles above us on the International Space Station have been documenting what we’ve been missing.

The aurora borealis and its southern sister, the aurora australis, are just as breathtaking from above, and the astronauts get a clear view any time of year. These atmospheric light shows are a product of charged particles interacting with the Earth’s magnetic sphere and are often tied to solar wind or other sun surface activity. Whichever way you look at it, the phenomenon is surreal.

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NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

Attached Images

  • ISS029-E-06020.jpg
  • ISS2.jpg
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#2 +Bryan R.

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 14:17

It's sometimes hard for me believe that this is real. I've still never seen it for myself.

#3 spacer

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 14:28

Such an amazing and beautiful natural phenomenon. I would like to be able to take a trip one of the poles and see it for myself.

#4 Torolol

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 14:31

all thanks for earth's magneto-sphere.

#5 DKAngel

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 14:33

Shields are holding at 50%!

#6 DocM

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 20:10

It's sometimes hard for me believe that this is real. I've still never seen it for myself.


I have seen strong displays from Earth and it's absolutely f'ing breathtaking. I could watch them for hours. Seeing them from orbit must be stunning.

To see them at their best there has to have been a solar coronal mass ejection (solar storm), a ground observer should be at a fairly high latitude (40° or better) and the skies dark (as in being in a rural location.)

#7 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 20:15

in the past few years with better and better cameras making it to the space station we have seen some amazing aurora photos as well as other earth photos from the space station.

#8 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 20:17

amazing photos!

#9 Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 20:21

Shields are holding at 50%!


Raise power, number one! :p

#10 Conjor

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 20:22

These Star Trek references... Need to stop. Make it so.

#11 Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 20:27

These Star Trek references... Need to stop. Make it so.


LOL! (I read that as Kirk would've said it, hehe!)

#12 OP Hum

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 00:38

Amazing that there are stars visible in the photos ... right Neil ? :shifty:

#13 nekkidtruth

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 00:41

Shields are holding at 50%!


This made me laugh. Thanks. :rofl:

#14 Growled

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:22

Some beautiful pictures. I hope to see it myself one day, but from here on earth.

#15 DocM

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:46

You wouldn't go up given the opportunity? Hell, I'd jump at the chance.