NASA Aurora Australis
Photo credit: Christina Koch
NASA astronaut Christina Koch captured this breathtaking image of the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) during one of the space station’s 15 orbits of the planet. The International Space Station (ISS) circles the Earth approximately 15 times each day, and during these orbits, which last 90 minutes, the station passes through the dayside and nightside of Earth, providing astronauts with several opportunities to capture the planet’s stunning phenomena. Read more for two videos and additional information.

“When charged particles carried on solar winds wash over our planet, they interact with the oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere. These interactions excite the gas at high altitudes to the point where they start to glow in various hues of green, blue, yellow, red and violet. In the Southern Hemisphere, near the South Pole, the so-called Southern Lights are dubbed the Aurora Australis,” reports

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