Astronaut Films Auroras from Above

As the sun’s 11-year cycle of mag­net­ic storms moves clos­er to peak inten­si­ty some­time ear­ly next year, peo­ple who live at high­er lat­i­tudes can expect to see col­or­ful auro­ras light­ing up the night sky. But what would it be like to look down at the auro­ras, or to move through them? In these strik­ing images from NASA, we find out. Astro­naut Don Pet­tit has been orbit­ing the Earth since Decem­ber, as a Flight Engi­neer for Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion Expe­di­tion 30, and while up there he’s been tak­ing advan­tage of the increased solar activ­i­ty by film­ing some of the fire­works in the Earth­’s mag­ne­tos­phere. “We can actu­al­ly fly into the auro­ras,” Pet­tit says in this NASA Sci­ence­Cast. “It’s like being shrunk down and put inside of a neon sign.” To learn more, you can read the arti­cle at NASA Sci­ence News, and to watch oth­er episodes in the series, vis­it the Sci­ence­Casts home page. Find more excel­lent clips in our col­lec­tion of Great Sci­ence Videos.

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  • The earth itself is the great­est artist of all.

  • Jim says:


    So what is the secret to watch­ing the video.

    I went to the site, and clicked on numer­ous things,thought there Should be ONE thing there, the Auro­ra video

    and I can’t access it.

    Please pro­vide an easy, and direct, click to watch the aruo­ra video you said I could watch.

    Teacher who feels left out and slight­ed.

    WHY do you folks make watch­ing what you want us to watch Soooooooooo dif­fi­cult.



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