Few things start the week better than being stunned to silence with the pure beauty of what Earth can create. At least that’s what we thought when we took a second to watch NASA Television‘s most recent ultra high definition release. Take a few minutes from your morning and watch the incredible images, which we found on Gizmodo, of both the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis that NASA collected via the International Space Station.
You’re probably at least passingly familiar with the phenomenon colloquially known as the Northern Lights in the Northern Hemisphere, but in case you’re not, here’s a very brief run down. The lights are created when electronically charged particles from the surface of the sun enter Earth’s atmosphere and collide with gaseous particles here. Depending on what types of gases collide with the particles from the sun, the colors can range from green to blue and red and violet. These light displays are seen at the magnetic poles of the planet—hence the Northern and Southern aspects of them. They also tend to happen in predictable bursts. The last cluster of high activity in the North was in 2013. On clear nights in the darkest times of the year, the lights can be seen as far south as New Orleans. If you ever have the chance to partake in a Northern Lights viewing, you should definitely take it.
The video above is a wonderful opportunity to see where technology and science bring phenomena we can usually only see in specific times and places to the people. NASA Television used a time lapse camera to capture these images in 4K high-definition. Make sure you adjust your YouTube viewing so you can really see all the color variations that the International Space Station was able to send down to Earth.
Image & Video: NASA