The current Expedition 64 crew of the International Space Station recently shared several beautiful photos of the aurora on Earth. The fascinating natural color is attributed to the track of the station, making it 51.6 degrees as high as the equator.
As explained Digital trendsAurora appears when particles from solar storms interact with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. The best place to see the aurora on Earth in the northern hemisphere is near the Arctic Circle, while in the southern hemisphere it is the southernmost point of Tasmania and New Zealand.
The station’s orbit makes it 51.6° above the equator, allowing unobstructed views of the aurora between city lights and twinkling stars. https://t.co/gzNPCS8UMl pic.twitter.com/JEAwJI0LEX
—International Space Station (@Space_Station) January 23, 2021
But moving the orbit from space to location can reveal natural phenomena. Here are the images recently shared with NASA’s Flickr account:
The picture above was taken on January 18 when the International Space Station orbited the North Atlantic at 264 miles. The subtitle reads: “Earth’s airglow is an optical phenomenon caused by cosmic rays hitting the upper atmosphere, covering the horizon.”
This photo was also taken on January 18, when the International Space Station was in orbit 263 miles above Romania. Under the aurora above the horizon of the earth, the city lights of Sweden and Finland can be seen. The dark area between the two Scandinavian countries is the Baltic Sea.
The two photos above were taken 264 miles above Kazakhstan on January 13, looking north to Russia, and the bright city can be seen under the aurora.
The last two photos were taken on January 12 and both were taken in Russia. The first picture shows the landscape between Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and the second picture is closer to the western border of Kazakhstan.
All the images above were taken on a Nikon D5 with 58mm or 85mm lens.
This documentary recently released on NASA’s YouTube channel shows more aurora captured from the space station, as well as several other stories looking down on the earth from above.
(Via digital trends)