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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