Astronaut Scott Kelly saw an incredible sight when he peered out the window of the International Space Station on Labor Day:
This is a time-lapse video of an aurora borealis based on footage Kelly took from the ISS on Sept. 7. The northern lights are mysterious and beautiful enough from Earth—I was actually down below watching this display from northern Michigan—but Kelly’s video offers us a rare glimpse of an aurora from above.
There are few experiences more magical than standing in the dark and looking up as brilliant curtains of white, red, and green light dance overhead. The display emanates from highly charged electron and protons shot from the sun into our atmosphere, where they collide with oxygen and nitrogen molecules and begin to glow. As NASA’s Nicky Fox explains here, a reconfiguration of Earth’s entire magnetic field takes place, creating the dazzling light show that reminds us what a remarkable universe this is.