Pack your bags, we’re going to space to watch the southern lights!
Space can be a terrifying place since you’re far from your home planet but at the same time, it offers some of the most magnificent views to astronauts. Thankfully, we don’t have to go all the way into space to witness the spectacular sight of the Southern Lights as a time-lapse video captured during a routine mission onboard the International Space Station is available for our streaming.
The sighting of Aurora Australis (not to be confused with Aurora Borealis) is limited to spotting sites in the Southern Hemisphere. This is the main reason why they’re not as popular as the northern lights even though the phenomenon is the same. Geomagnetic storms on the Sun release Alfven waves that accelerate electrons towards the Earth which keep accelerating and create lights that we call as the southern lights. This scenery can only be witnessed from different sites in Australia and New Zealand but now it seems like the ISS is a better sighting spot!
Thomas Pesquet, a French astronaut has been lucky in spotting these colorful lights on his stay abroad the ISS and shares his videos on Twitter. He also explained the different colors and how the altitude affects them on his Flickr account. On his previous trip on ISS in 2016, he only managed to see one sighting during the six months period so this time around was rather a lucky journey for him. “I don’t know why we saw so many in the span of a few days when I barely saw one during my entire first mission, but these last ones came with something extra,” he wrote on his Instagram account.
Guess it’s time to pay space a visit!