The Sun is right in the middle of one of its most active periods in its 11-year cycle. This means lots of radiation is being spewed towards the Earth during various solar storms. This radiation bounces off the Earth’s atmosphere and creates a phenomenon known as Aurora Borealis. Depending on which hemisphere you live in the common name for Aurora Borealis is either the Northern Lights or the Southern Lights.
The photo you see here was taken by ISS astronauts as the space station streaked over south-central Nebraska. The green fog-like Aurora Borealis you see is the result particles ejected from the sun colliding with Earth’s atmosphere. Those particles follow the magnetic lines near the poles creating the beautiful glow.
This photo was taken from 240 miles above the earth. Astronauts will be taking more photos and video of the Aurora Borealis as the ISS orbits the planet the public will be able to see the images and movies within 48 hours and them being taken. The video and photos are shared as part of an effort called AuroraMAX. You can follow the AuroraMAX live webcam here after dark.