Science

These photos of the auroras, taken by astronauts from space, are simply breathtaking.

High above the Earth, European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti can watch the shimmering auroras that permeate our planet’s atmosphere.

From her seat aboard the International Space Station, she has observed some particularly stunning instances of the aurora borealis, known as the aurora borealis, which appears as brilliant waves of cascading green streaks high in Earth’s atmosphere.

“The sun has been very active lately,” she tweeted. (will open in a new tab) on Sunday (August 21). “Last week we saw the most amazing auroras I have ever seen in over 300 days in space!”

On the subject: Stunning northern lights shine during a solar storm (photo)

To learn more

This majestic light show is commonly referred to as the Southern Lights in the Southern Hemisphere and the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis in the Northern Hemisphere. Auroras occur when high-energy particles from the sun fall to Earth, where they interact with our magnetic fields, guiding them toward the north and south poles.

It’s a delightful dance not to be missed, given the chance, whether it’s from space or from Earth.

Like something out of a big-budget Hollywood sci-fi spectacle, the International Space Station is a striking silhouette with greenish particles drawn to the planet’s magnetic pole as a gorgeous backdrop. Due to Earth’s atmosphere being mostly oxygen and nitrogen, collisions of solar particles with nitrogen produce green and violet light, while collisions with oxygen generate red or green displays.

Cristoforetti is an Italian astronaut of the European Space Agency who currently works on the ISS as part of the Minerva mission. She launched into space on April 27 as part of Crew-4 and has since become an internet sensation, posting the first-ever TikTok video from the International Space Station in May. She will return to Earth next month.

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