The Aurora Borealis Viewed from Orbit (and What Creates Those Northern Lights?)

Earlier this week, NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson tweeted a 14 second time-lapse film of the Aurora Borealis taken from the International Space Station. The short clip called to mind a more extensive view of the Northern Lights shot by Don Pettit, also working in the ISS, back in 2008. (Watch above.) And it raised the basic question: What causes the Aurora Borealis anyway?

The beautiful natural phenomenon starts deep inside the core of the sun, and the rest of the story gets explained in a five minute animated video created by Norwegian filmmaker Per Byhring and the Physics Department at the University of Oslo.

Both clips now appear in our collection of 125 Great Science Videos.

via Coudal Partners Blended Feed and BrainPickings



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  1. steroids says . . . | October 8, 2012 / 8:08 pm

    hard to believe it really exists it looks so much like a special effect.

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