Magnificent “Aurora Borealis” caught by the lens of astronauts at the International Space Station

Photo: twitter.com/AstroSamantha

A solar storm sparked a shimmering aurora visible in space.

NASA astronaut Bob Hines caught the aurora on camera from the International Space Station on Wednesday (Aug. 17) following a moderate solar outburst.

“Absolutely SPECTACULAR aurora today!!!,” the NASA astronaut tweeted (opens in new tab), along with several pictures of the sun-generated storm that hit the atmosphere of Earth. “Thankful for the recent solar activity resulting in these wonderful sights.

Photo: Bob Hines | NASA

The northern lights were generated after the sun hurled enough charged particles towards our planet to produce a moderate or G2-class storm, according to SpaceWeather.com (opens in new tab).

In most cases, the solar storms we experience on Earth are harmless, but on occasion strong bursts of space weather can also create infrastructure problems as power lines, satellites or other machinery shorts out. 

Hines, his roommates on the space station and other folks in space also need to be mindful of radiation associated with space weather and cosmic rays, which are generated from deep space. But medical doctors keep an eye on astronaut health before, during and after space missions.

European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti also saw auroras(opens in new tab) earlier this week.



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