Being aboard the International Space Station is quite the treat, as showcased by several astronauts over the course of the station’s operations. Now, NASA astronaut Josh Cassada has given skywatchers even more reason to envy that position by sharing an absolutely breathtaking photo of auroras captured from the International Space Station (ISS).
The ISS flies an average of 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth in its orbiting track. As a result, astronauts aboard the station are often given a unique perspective on the happenings that occur here on Earth. Auroras are no different, either. Cassada shared the photo of the auroras taken from the ISS on Twitter on February 28, describing the view as “absolutely unreal.”
Of course, this is far from the only time that we’ve been given such a spectacular view of these celestial events. Previously astronaut Bob Hines captured images of a solar storm interacting with our atmosphere last year. With such a striking view of the Earth, it really shouldn’t be that surprising that photos of auroras from the ISS are so breathtaking.
These celestial events are caused by solar radiation interacting with our Earth’s atmosphere. Sometimes, when the radiation from our Sun is strong enough, auroras can even extend far beyond their normal appearance zones. It’s also amazing to see how far these light shows extend into space, something else showcased perfectly in these photos of auroras captured aboard the ISS.
Of course, this isn’t the only news from the beloved space station this week. NASA and SpaceX are still working on launching the Crew-6 mission, which was scrubbed just two minutes before liftoff, and will take four more astronauts to the station.
Further, Russia’s ISS rescue mission is finally underway, providing astronauts a safer way to get home should any emergencies aboard the ISS pop up.