Auroras are one of the most beautiful and bewildering natural spectacles on Earth. But the view is even better from above.
The faint green glow of auroras is caused by high-energy particles from the sun plowing through Earth’s atmosphere. Bands of the aurora dance, bob, and weave as the flow of solar particles fluctuates and interacts with our planet’s magnetic field.
Typically only people who live in the darkest reaches of the world (far north or south) get to enjoy such light shows.
If you’re an astronaut flying around the planet, however, you get a view of auroras that is simply unmatched — like this one, recorded on June 25:
The clip captures the Aurora Australis, or southern lights, as seen from the International Space Station, which orbits about 250 miles above Earth. (The Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, occurs in the northern hemisphere.)
A member of the orbiting laboratory’s Expedition 52 crew recorded the video, according to NASA.
“The International Space Station was flying from south of Australia to the southern Pacific Ocean,” when it captured the footage, NASA explained in a description.
The video is actually time-lapse imagery, since it takes the space station about 90 minutes to complete one orbit. (About half of that time is spent in darkness.)
Watch the full video below.