The Northern Lights are one of the most impressive phenomena you can see on land. But have you thought about how they look from space? To clear your doubts, Bob Hines, NASA astronaut, has decided to take photos of him from his place on the International Space Station. Although a picture is worth a thousand words, we can sum it up in just one: impressive.
In your official account TwitterHines accompanied the photos with the following message: “Absolutely spectacular aurora today.” Next, proceed to upload some images that you can enjoy from the comfort of your armchair: this is what the auroras look like from the cold space.
The images were captured on August 17. They are quite recent, and also a product of solar activity that is currently very active. For this reason, the Earth’s magnetic field has already begun to respond adequately to the interaction of our star, thus creating the impressive multi-colored snakes in the night sky.
“Grateful for the recent solar activity that resulted in these wonderful viewsHines added in his Twitter post.
The reason behind these recent auroras
Solar activity is increasing more and more. Such is the current influence of the star, that Northern Lights are expected even as far south as New Englandin United States.
The reason is that the Sun seems to be going through a fairly dynamic process right now, so it has been releasing coronal mass ejections. This activity triggers a response in the Earth’s magnetic field, which shows up in incredible colors in the sky. Nevertheless, It is nothing more than the result of the collision between charged particles coming from the Sun and the Earth’s magnetic field..
Although there have been no warnings at this time, these solar flares may affect our communication on Earth. In fact, one of them was so strong that it caused the destruction of some Starlink satellites earlier this year. Therefore, even as the inhabitants of the International Space Station are amazed by this sight, are well prepared to face this type of event.
It seems that for now the current solar cycle will remain a fairly active one. The best we can do is enjoy it from the safety of our home, of course.
What else can be seen in the photo taken by the NASA astronaut from space?
In addition to the impressive auroras, the images also show a quite striking formation. These are lines parallel to each other., which appear in the left area of one of the photos captured by the astronaut. What are they exactly?
Bob Hines has explained that are reflections of the station’s solar panels. A small detail, but quite mesmerizing when you manage to find it.
On the other hand, we don’t just see the colors of the Northern Lights from the outside. Large bodies of water and Entire cities shining in all their splendor. Even from the location of the International Space Station it is possible to see part of the activity of the metropolises in which we live.