Astronauts document fierce aurora following solar storms
Brilliant green flames dance above the darkened Indian Ocean in a time-lapse video taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Posted to the ISS Twitter account on Sunday, the video shows the aurora, or Southern lights as seen by astronauts on the space station. The video encompasses the Space Stations flight over the Indian Ocean all the way to the Coral Sea east of Australia.
Aurora are generated by charged particles discharged from the Sun as they are trapped and interact with Earth’s geomagnetic field. The charged particles generate the pretty lights as they transfer their energy into the magnetic field, but can also trigger a geomagnetic storm, an expansion and quivering of the field that can disrupt radio communications and even pose a hazard to satellites — in February, a geomagnetic storm pulled 40 newly launched SpaceX satellites out of low Earth orbit.
SpaceX satellites disintegrate in the dark sky above Puerto Rico
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center had warned of the possibility of a moderate geomagnetic storm on Sunday.