NASA releases stunning 4K video of Earthly auroras from the ISS

20 Apr 2016

Aurora Borealis image via NASA TV

The International Space Station (ISS) has become a film set for the stars, quite literally, with its latest video documenting the wonder that is the Aurora Borealis, in 4K quality, as the craft orbits the Earth.

The camera aboard the ISS is part of NASA Television’s latest offering, NASA TV UHD, which aims to let ultra-high definition videos boldly go where no such video has gone before.

This latest video from the current crew aboard the station focuses on the atmospheric phenomenon known as the Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights.

The beautiful dancing lights that fill the night sky in the northern hemisphere, sometimes even as far south as Ireland, are the result of our planet’s regular bombardment by solar winds that contain charged particles.

Includes the Australis Borealis, too

When this reacts with the gases that make up our atmosphere, such as oxygen, it gives off the familiar green hue that is most commonly seen, but can also create vibrant reds when interacting with oxygen at higher altitudes more than 300km above the Earth.

For this five-minute video, NASA said that it compiled the stunning footage from time-lapse shots captured by the 4K camera, including not only the Aurora Borealis, but the lesser-known Aurora Australis, which is found at the southern polar region.

There’s not much else to say, other than press play and turn on widescreen for some incredible views.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic