See what it's like to fly through an aurora in orbit

It looks like something from a '90s screensaver, but it's footage of the International Space Station flying through the northern (or maybe southern?) lights.

aurora.png
An aurora, as seen from the International Space Station. Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have been capturing worldview-altering photos of Earth from space for years now, including some beautiful shots of those dancing lights we know as the aurora borealis (or aurora australis in the Southern Hemisphere). Now, the European Space Agency has published a new view for the YouTube generation with the breathtaking time-lapse video below.

The vid shows the ISS cruising through the green lights of an aurora -- a phenomenon observed when charged electrons from the solar wind interact with Earth's atmosphere to spectacular effect -- then over some nighttime city lights and finally on into morning, Peter Pan style.

It's a delightful 30 seconds to help put your whole day into perspective. You are a tiny, tiny human being on a big rock in limitless space, which means either it's all meaningless, or there's just so much left to explore. More on that later. For now, enjoy the pretty colors... FROM SPACE!!

About the author

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer, radio producer, and podcaster based in Taos, N.M., but he lives in Google+. He's also managing editor of Crowdsourcing.org and has written e-books on both Alaska and Android. E-mail Eric.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)
CNET's 15 favorite How Tos of 2014
CNET's 15 most popular How Tos of 2014