U.S. astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore has been busy capturing images of the Aurora borealis, or Northern Lights in various locations around the Earth while aboard the International Space Station.
The Aurora borealis is a natural light show often seen in the skies near the magnetic pole in the Arctic region, and is known as Aurora australis in the Southern Hemisphere's Antarctic region. This spectacular show is the result of particles from the sun that trigger reactions in our planet's upper atmosphere when oxygen and nitrogen molecules release photons of light.
"Aurora are one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the sun both in a steady stream called the solar wind and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs," the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) explained.
On Thursday, the U.S. space agency released a video that shows the Northern Lights meeting sunrise.
The footage, which Wilmore took over Virginia, New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Massachusetts, and came with the caption "All we need now are angels singing," shows how the sun rising over the Northeastern coast of the U.S. meets the aurora, which eventually appeared to melt away.
The video was shared via YouTube and the Facebook page of the ISS and did not fail to impress viewers. Commenters described it as amazing, beautiful, stunning and awesome.
"The Earth is really beautiful," commented one viewer named Hathim Hanif. "Thanks to science and unknown great people behind the technology we enjoy today,"
Another Facebook user, Emil Blain, who watched the video, also said that while he has seen similar videos before, those clips never cease to amaze him.
"I have watched clips similar to these numerous of times but every time they still manage to amaze me with full-out majestic magnificence. Oh, how i love the mysterious ways of nature and universe," Blain said.
The ISS, which can also be seen in the video, is home to six astronauts including Wilmore, who took the footage, and three Russians.
Launched in 1998, the ISS serves as a unique science laboratory in low Earth orbit currently being used by scientists to learn more about living in space, a crucial part of future plans to send humans farther into space. Scientists also conduct studies and experiments at the ISS to learn what happens to the body when a person lives in microgravity for long periods of time.