NASA: Auroras Underfoot
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.
Glowing green and red, shimmering hypnotically across the night sky, the aurora borealis is a wonder to behold. Longtime sky watchers say it is the greatest show on Earth.
Auroras are caused by solar activity. Gusts of solar wind and coronal mass ejections strike Earth’s magnetic field, rattling our planet’s protective shell of magnetism. This causes charged particles to rain down over the poles, lighting up the atmosphere where they hit.