NASA astronaut Reid Weisman snapped some shots of the captivating Northern Lights from the International Space Station this week.

The northern lights, more appropriately the the aurora borealis, are caused by geomagnetic storms that occur when charged particles from the sun interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, exciting oxygen and nitrogen in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The colour of the aurora depends on which atom is first struck and at what altitude. For example, the green colour in this image is the result of electrons interacting with oxygen molecules at an altitude up to 241Km (150 miles).

Jean

See more awesome images on Reid’s personal twitter here: http://bit.ly/1naWxaX

Image courtesy of Reid Weisman

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