Astronaut tweets 'absolutely unreal' images of an Aurora from space
Auroras have always been the most mesmerizing natural occurrence, and individuals have been flocking just for a glimpse of these Northern lights. While we flock to different locations from this striking view, astronauts have witnessed the most exclusive show of aurora.
Auroras from space
Josh Cassada, a NASA astronaut, was lucky enough to enjoy the rare aurora sighting from a unique perspective. Astronauts Josh Cassada of NASA and Koichi Wasada of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency aboard the International Space Station captured an image that shows the northern lights shining green simultaneously with the natural golden glow of our planet’s night sky.
Earth’s sky never experiences complete darkness, not even at night, even when you eliminate all the beneficiations from the starlight, diffuse sunlight, and light pollution.
Cassada posted the photo on Twitter with the caption, “Absolutely Unreal.” On the same day, another tweet revealed similarly incredible space views of auroras:
Wow, awesome view! I caught @Space_Station passing overhead (24 sec in) while making a timelapse of our auroral action pic.twitter.com/pN0GZMdSnO— Joel Weatherly (@JK_Weatherly) February 28, 2023
Aurora and nightglow
During the night, a soft radiance called nightglow occurs in the sky. This phenomenon occurs when molecules are broken due to solar radiation during the day recombine. Nightglow is present in the sky all the time.
Aurora, however, is a more situational occurrence. It occurs when the particles from the solar wind slam Earth’s magnetic field. These winds are then swapped away and accelerated along magnetic field lines to greater latitudes near to north and south pole, where they shower down into the upper layer of the atmosphere. Once here, the solar wind particles interact with atmospheric particles; the dancing green lights result from these interactions that spread across the night sky.
Auroras are more commonly now seen in the US and certain parts of Canada, unlike before when the lights could only be witnessed in the northernmost parts of the world, including Iceland, Scandinavia, and Greenland.
What month is best to see auroras?
The month of February was pretty exciting, with numerous powerful X and M-class flares—the most powerful flares category emitted by the sun.
Although the present cycle is more vital than official predictions, the sun's activity hasn't crossed the normal range, leaving any factor to worry about.
A geomagnetic storm can be unleashed from a particularly powerful flare. A geomagnetic storm is strong enough to disrupt radio and satellite communications and cause damage to the power grids. There's no possibility of such an event on the immediate horizon.