Light Display: Astronaut Captures Stunning Images of Aurora from Space

Image: The aurora borealis is visible from the International Space Station
The aurora borealis is visible from the International Space StationReid Wiseman / NASA

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NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman has taken his share of remarkable photos from his special vantage point in space, and his latest images of an aurora as seen from the International Space Station are no exception.

Wiseman on Tuesday snapped photos of the geomagnetic light display from the window of the ISS orbiting some 150 miles (241 kilometers) above Earth.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this," @astro_reid tweeted. "10 minutes ago on the #ISS #aurora."

Wiseman followed up with another photo tweet that speaks for itself:

The mesmerizing light display was the result of a solar event called a coronal mass ejection. CMEs are powerful eruptions on the sun’s surface that unleash a storm of electrically charged particles. When these particles hit Earth’s magnetic field, they can trigger reactions that release photons of light, resulting in the multicolored glow that we call an aurora.

Wiseman is about halfway through a 166-day mission aboard the space station.

— James Eng