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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

The green fire of the aurora, seen from space

By Phil Plait

On March 4, 2012, the International Space Station passed over the Indian Ocean. Solar activity was high, and a gorgeous aurora raged in Earth's upper atmosphere, yet still below the astronauts. On board the ISS, an astronaut took a series of still photos which were later put together into this video:

[Set the resolution to hi-def to really see the detail.]

Isn't that lovely? I added the music (Supernatural by Kevin MacLeod at Did you spot the moving light, traveling from left to right just as the video begins? That's almost certainly another satellite, moving along its own orbit hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away.

I've written about aurorae (like here) and this method of time lapse photography many times; check out Related Posts below. With the Sun still being tempestuous, expect to see lots more gorgeous photography of our active geomagnetic field over the coming months!

Tip o' the spacesuit visor: Remi Boucher. Credits: Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center. "The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth." Here's the original footage. Music: Kevin Macleod,

Related Posts:

- JAW DROPPING Space Station time lapse!
- Flying around the Earth
- The stars, from orbit
- Real time footage of aurora shows them dancing and shimmering

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