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Aurora time-lapse video dazzles from space

Enjoy an out-of-this-world aurora experience with a time-lapse view of gorgeous swirling lights as seen from the space station.

Being an astronaut on the International Space Station has its perks, including a front row seat to a light show most people will only ever see from the planet's surface. NASA released a time-lapse video on Friday showing a June 25 aurora filmed by a camera on the ISS. 

The video captures a rotating view of the Earth as otherworldly green lights emanate upward in swirling waves before disappearing to the side. NASA has released aurora images as seen from the ISS in the past, but this latest time-lapse video really stands out for its beauty, wide perspective and grand sense of scale.  

NASA explains auroras as "a space weather phenomenon that occur when electrically charged electrons and protons collide with neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere." 

That scientific explanation may sound a little dry, but the sheer artistry of the lights isn't lost on NASA, which notes that "brilliant fireworks shows on July 4th will have millions looking up, while light shows like these always have astronauts gazing back down."