Auroras are a rare sight on Earth, but now, thanks to a new ultra-high definition video from NASA, people can see what it’s like to be an astronaut witnessing the cosmic light show from the International Space Station.
From Earth, the curtains of the aurora dance overhead during solar storms, but from space, astronauts get to watch the northern and southern lights flicker up at them from below.
Auroras are produced when charged particles from the sun slam into Earth’s upper atmosphere, exciting neutral particles and causing them to glow. This happens above the planet’s high latitudes, such as the Arctic and Antarctic.
The different colors of the aurora represent the various molecules that are aglow. According to NASA, oxygen molecules give off a green glow, while nitrogen can emit a blue light.
So sit back, relax and enjoy the fact that you don’t need to go on a death-defying journey to space to see the beauty of the auroras from above.