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You need to watch this Aurora time lapse taken in space

Jody Ray Bennett
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Jody Ray Bennett
You need to watch this Aurora time lapse taken in space

NASA recently released a stunningly beautiful time lapse of the Aurora Borealis taken from the International Space Station. The video captures a gorgeous, rotating view of the Earth as greenish-blue lights emit from its surface, all captured from a super wide-lens installed on the ISS.

NASA explains auroras as "a space weather phenomenon that occur when electrically charged electrons and protons collide with neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere."

“The dancing lights of the aurora provide spectacular views, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun. Aurora is one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the sun both in a steady stream called the solar wind, and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs."

Watch it here.

CNET reported on NASA’s release, noting: “That scientific explanation may sound a little dry, but the sheer artistry of the lights isn't lost on NASA, which notes that ‘brilliant fireworks shows on July 4 will have millions looking up, while light shows like these always have astronauts gazing back down.’”

You need to watch this Aurora time lapse taken in space
You need to watch this Aurora time lapse taken in space
You need to watch this Aurora time lapse taken in space

But this is not the first time the ISS captured the splendor. Back in 2015, astronaut Scott Kelly captured a stirring image of the glowing aurora that made Earth look like a sci-fi wonderland.

You need to watch this Aurora time lapse taken in space
You need to watch this Aurora time lapse taken in space
You need to watch this Aurora time lapse taken in space
You need to watch this Aurora time lapse taken in space
You need to watch this Aurora time lapse taken in space

The International Space Station is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. Its first component launched into orbit in 1998, and the ISS is now the largest human-made body in low Earth orbit and can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth.

The ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations as well as Skylab from the U.S. The station has been continuously occupied for 16 years and 258 days since the arrival of Expedition 1 in November 2000. This is the longest continuous human presence in low Earth orbit, having surpassed the previous record of nine years and 357 days held by Mir.

The ISS is arguably the most expensive single item ever constructed. In 2010 the cost was expected to be $150 billion, which includes NASA's budget of $58.7 billion for the station from 1985 to 2015 ($72.4 billion in 2010 dollars), Russia's $12 billion, Europe's $5 billion, Japan's $5 billion, Canada's $2 billion, and the cost of 36 shuttle flights to build the station; estimated at $1.4 billion each, or $50.4 billion in total.

You need to watch this Aurora time lapse taken in space

On September 30, 2015, Boeing's contract with NASA as prime contractor for the ISS was extended to September 30, 2020. Part of Boeing's services under the contract will relate to extending the station's primary structural hardware past 2020 to the end of 2028.

Regarding extending the ISS, on November 15, 2016 General Director Vladimir Solntsev of RSC Energia stated "Maybe the ISS will receive continued resources. Today we discussed the possibility of using the station until 2028," and "much will depend on the political moments in relations with the Americans, with the new administration. It will be discussed."

Hopefully there are many more photos like this to come.