CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Revealed: The stunning green glow of the Southern Lights photographed by astronauts from ABOVE

06-22-2010 11:40 BJT

Like a green ribbon snaking its way out into space this stunning image shows the famous Southern Lights from a rather unusual angle - above.

Taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), this picture shows the aurora australis against the backdrop of Earth's horizon.

These ever-shifting displays are most visible near the North (aurora borealis) and South (aurora australis) Poles.

The ISS was over the Southern Indian Ocean at an altitude of 350 km, with the astronauts looking towards Antarctica and the South Pole.

Green flash: The Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) as observed From the International Space Station. The curve of the Earth and the blue light of the atmosphere can also be seen
Green flash: The Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) as observed From the International Space
Station. The curve of the Earth and the blue light of the atmosphere can also be seen

Dense cloud cover is dimly visible below the aurora. The curvature of the Earth’s horizon can be clearly seen as well as the faint blue line of the upper atmosphere.

The stunning sight is formed as charged particles streaming from the Sun – known as the solar wind - interact with Earth’s magnetic field, resulting in collisions with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen in the upper atmosphere.

This striking aurora image was taken during a geomagnetic storm that was probably caused by a coronal mass ejection from the Sun on May 24th.
The atoms emit photons as a means of returning to their original energy state. The photons form the aurora that we see.


Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program