Behold: a spectacular view from the International Space Station of an aurora generously slathered like salsa verde onto the Earth’s thermosphere just before midsummer 2017. To wit:
About 400 kilometres (250 miles) above Earth, the orbiting station is itself within the upper realm of the auroral displays. Aurorae have the signature colours of excited molecules and atoms at the low densities found at extreme altitudes. Emission from atomic oxygen dominates this view. The tantalizing glow is green at lower altitudes, but rarer reddish bands extend above the space station’s horizon. The orbital scene was captured while passing over a point south and east of Australia, with stars above the horizon at the right belonging to the constellation Canis Major, Orion’s big dog. Sirius, alpha star of Canis Major, is the brightest star near the Earth’s limb.
A spectacular aurora captured outside Östersund in Sweden in 2016. To wit:
Six photographic fields were merged to create the featured panorama spanning almost 180 degrees. Particularly striking aspects of this aurora include its sweeping arc-like shape and its stark definition. LakeStorsjön is seen in the foreground, while several familiar constellations and the star Polaris are visible through the aurora, far in the background. Coincidently, the aurora appears to avoid the Moon visible on the lower left. The aurora appeared a day after a large hole opened in the Sun’s corona allowing particularly energetic particles to flow out into the Solar System. The green colour of the aurora is caused by oxygen atoms recombining with ambient electrons high in the Earth’s atmosphere.
I sent a text to my friend & neighbour Trine to see if she could see the lights from her north facing back garden & low & behold, she could. We stayed there taking photos & watching the celestial green glow for over an hour. It’s the first time Trine has seen the northern lights outside the country of her birth [Norway].
Slieve League – the highest sea cliffs in Europe, located on the north west coast of Ireland in the county of Donegal… possible the most magical place in Ireland to try and capture the Aurora.. I often imagined what the Aurora would look like in this location, but never expected to see it this strong..