The “Northern Lights” Look spectacular from the International Space Station

Credit: NASA

A member of the Expedition 53 crew aboard the International Space Station snapped an incredible image of the aurora borealis over the Canada this week.

NASA released the picture Tuesday afternoon.

exp53-prelaunch
Expedition 53 Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA and Soyuz Commander Alexander Misurkin. Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

An Aurora, which is also known as the northern lights, are produced by electrically charged particles from the sun colliding with the gases in the earth’s atmosphere.

Aurora’s in the north, like the one pictured over Canada, is called aurora borealis.

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The Expedition 53 crew captured the image on September 15.

The light show is likely the result of recent solar flares from the sun. Several strong solar flares have been recorded by NASA within the past few weeks, including this X8.2 flare on September 10.

NASA Solar Flare Northern Lights
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured these images of an X8.2 solar flare – as seen in the bright area on the right – on Sept. 10, 2017. Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

The Expedition 53 crew on the ISS just gained three new members on September 12. The arrival of Mark Vande Hei, Joe Acaba, and Alexander Misurkin restores the station’s crew to six, as they join Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency.)

The new crew members will spend more than four months conducting approximately 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.

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