Advert

Astronaut Shares Amazing Photo Of The Northern Lights From Above

Published 
| Last updated 

Astronaut Shares Amazing Photo Of The Northern Lights From Above

An astronaut has taken a series of amazing images of the Northern Lights - showing his view from the International Space Station.

Alexander Gerst, a German astronaut with NASA, send out the images via his Twitter feed with the caption: "Mind-blowing, every single time. I wonder what early explorers thought when they first saw an aurora without ever having heard about it..."

The results? Well, see for yourself:

Credit: Twitter/Alexander Gerst
Credit: Twitter/Alexander Gerst
Advert

Aurora Borealis, as the Northern Lights are properly known, is a natural phenomenon that occurs because of reactions between the Earth's magnetic field and charged particles in the wind.

"Auroras are 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," said a NASA spokesman.

"After a trip toward Earth that can last two or three days, the solar particles and magnetic fields cause the release of particles already trapped near Earth, which in turn trigger reactions in the upper atmosphere in which oxygen and nitrogen molecules release photons of light.

"The result: the Northern and Southern lights."

Advert
Credit: Twitter/Alexander Gerst
Credit: Twitter/Alexander Gerst

Alexander Gerst, the astronaut who tweeted the image, also made the news recently after playing a synthesiser at a jazz festival in his native Germany - while he himself was on the International Space Station.

He began by playing the theme song from Close Encounters of the Third Kind before addressing his audience.

"I am one of only six people in space, on the outpost of humanity, the International Space Station (ISS), 400 kilometers [250 miles] above sea level," he told the crowd via video link.

Advert

"The ISS is a man machine, the most complex and valuable machine humankind has ever built. Here in the European Columbus laboratory, the successor to the Spacelab, the European Space Agency is researching things that will improve daily life on Earth.

"More than 100 different nations work together peacefully here and achieve things that a single nation could never achieve."

"We are developing technologies on board the ISS to grow beyond our current horizons and prepare to take further steps into space, to the moon and Mars."

Advert

He then put down the mic and played a duet with Kraftwerk star Ralf Hütter. What a time to be alive.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter / Alexander Gerst

Topics: World News, Awesome, Interesting, space, International Space Station

Mike Wood
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

News

Pub Named After Mythical Black Dog Renamed To Be 'Anti-Racist'

2 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

News

Pub Chef Receives Sentence After Shepherd’s Pie Kills Woman

3 hours ago