“Stunningly surreal”: Astronaut from NASA captures mesmerizing image of auroras from the space station.
Josh Cassada has given us a bird’s-eye view of the supercharged auroras.
Rare vantage point captures Earth’s spectacular auroras as NASA astronaut Josh Cassada shares a breathtaking image from his observation point on the International Space Station (ISS) that orbits around 250 miles (400 kilometers) above our planet’s surface. In awe of the light display, Cassada captioned the photo as “Absolutely unreal,” which he shared on Twitter on February 28th. Recently, the auroras have been drawing attention due to their intensified brightness and visibility, attributed to high solar activity.
The charged particles from the sun’s outer atmosphere and solar winds have been further amplified by the coronal mass ejections. The result is a stunning and wide-spread view of the auroras, which are typically visible at ultrahigh latitudes due to the Earth’s magnetic field lines directing the charged particles towards the poles. The recent occurrence of these events has captured the attention of skywatchers across the globe, with reports of auroras seen even in California’s Death Valley National Park.
— Shari (@3rdRockMilkWay) February 28, 2023
In October of last year, Cassada joined three other crewmembers, including NASA’s Nicole Mann, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, and cosmonaut Anna Kikina, to become part of SpaceX’s Crew-5 mission on the International Space Station (ISS).
Their time in space, where they can view Earth from above, will soon come to an end as they are expected to return to Earth approximately five days after the arrival of SpaceX’s Crew-6 mission at the orbiting laboratory. The launch for Crew-6 is currently scheduled for early morning on March 2nd at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
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