Lately, the International Space Station has been flying through geomagnetic storms, giving astronauts an close-up view of the aurora borealis just outside their windows. These videos were taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. First, get an introduction into the beauty of aurorae.
The sequence of shots was taken March 3, 2012 from 17:59:48 to 18:16:25 GMT, on a pass from eastern Kenya, near the Indian Ocean, to the South Indian Ocean, east of the Kerguelen Islands. This video begins as the ISS travels southeast from eastern Africa over the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The first land we see is that of the Mauritius and Reunion Islands east of Madagascar. The pass continues over the Indian Ocean, where there are heavy clouds blocking the view of the water. Finally, the Aurora Australis begins to appear, as well as a faded view of the Milky Way.
The sequence of shots was taken March 4, 2012 from 17:19:17 to 17:27:10 GMT, on a pass over the South Indian Ocean. This video again focuses on the Aurora Australis as the ISS passes over the South Indian Ocean, from northeast of the Kerugelen Islands to south of Australia. The streaks of the aurora are very visible and active in this video, as the ISS passes right over the green lights.
The sequence of shots was taken March 10, 2012 from 14:49:58 to 15:05:37 GMT, on a pass from the South Indian Ocean to southeast New Zealand. This video mainly focuses on the Aurora Australis over the Southern Hemisphere. As the ISS traveled southeast and then northeast, the crew captured the bands of the Aurora Australis as the Milky Way made an appearance in the star field.
Credit: NASA ISS/JSC/Science@NASA