Last fall, I went to Iceland for a few days during peak Aurora Borealis season, yet managed to catch only a blurry glimpse of the Northern Lights on a foggy night; it was the one disappointment of the trip. But now, thanks to NASA, I (and you) get to enjoy the sheer beauty of this weird phenomenon. If you thought it looked cool from the ground, just wait til you see it from space.
This time-lapse video is one of the first offerings from NASA TV UHD, a new arm of NASA Television that brings ultra-high definition videos to people on the ground. In this case, the International Space Station captured what happens when electrically charged electrons and protons in the Earth’s magnetic field collide with the neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere.
They also borrowed a device from MTV’s Pop-Up Video and have little “info nuggets” helpfully explain what you’re seeing:
Who knew the Earth was so glittery?