Watch: A Stunning Aurora video from Space in Ultra-HD (4K)

An amazing Aurora video published by NASA, showing both Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) and Aurora Australis (Southern lights). It is taken from the International Space Station (ISS) using the time-lapse shot. Enjoy one of the most beautiful natural phenomena in ultra-HD (4K).

NASA Television’s newest offering, NASA TV UHD, brings ultra-high definition video to a new level with the kind of imagery only the world’s leader in space exploration could provide. Using time-lapses shot from the International Space Station, showing both the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis phenomena that occur when electrically charged electrons and protons in the Earth’s magnetic field collide with neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere.

Background music of the video: it is known as Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major, which is a piece remained forgotten for centuries like most other works by the German composer, organist and teacher Johann Pachelbel (1653 – 1706) and other pre-1700 composers. It was rediscovered only in the 20th century, and became extremely popular.

Aurora (Polar Lights)

An Aurora Borealis photographed in Estonia
An Aurora Borealis (northern lights) photographed in Estonia on March 18, 2015. Photographer: Kristian Pikner. Image source: Wikipedia

Polar Lights or Auroras are natural light displays predominantly seen in the high latitude (both Arctic and Antarctic) regions. If an aurora occurs in the Northern hemisphere, it is called “Aurora borealis” or “Northern lights”. If it is in the southern hemisphere, it is called “Aurora australis” or the “Southern lights”.

Both northern and southern lights are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles (predominantly in the form of electrons and protons) in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, precipitate them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere) due to Earth’s magnetic field, where their energy is lost. The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emit light of varying color and complexity.

The phenomenon mostly occurs in a band known as the auroral zone, which is typically 3° to 6° wide in latitude and between 10° and 20° from the geomagnetic poles at all local times (or longitudes). They can be most clearly seen at night against a dark sky – or from the space, as in the video above. In most instances, northern and southern auroras are mirror-like images that occur at the same time, with similar shapes and colors. They are occasionally seen in latitudes below the auroral zone.

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

I am a software developer, an ex-road racing cyclist, and a science enthusiast. Also an animal lover! I write about the planet Earth and science on this website, ourplnt.com. You can check out my social media profiles by clicking on their icons.

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