NASA Captures Footage of South Pole During Aurora, Makes a GIF By Robert T. Gonzalez | io9

Ever seen an aurora? Ever seen an aurora from space? You have now.

Via the usagov tumblr:

This is an animation of the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights), eight days after a record-setting solar flare sent a shower of charged particles towards Earth. From Earth, this glowing ring would appear as a curtain of light shimmering across the night sky. 

Image captured by NASA IMAGE satellite courtesy of NASA Space Place.


The colorful aurora australis (southern lights) glowing in this image were not captured at an ordinary place. It’s cold, dark and isolated with very little oxygen to breathe in the air, but the unique location makes Concordia station in Antarctica an attractive place for scientists to conduct research. For nine months, no aircraft or land vehicles can reach the station, temperatures drop to –80°C and the Sun does not rise above the horizon for 100 days.

Living and working in these conditions is similar in many ways to living on another planet and ESA (European Space Agency) sponsors a medical doctor to run research for future space missions. Many experiments will be run, including how these conditions influence blood pressure, connections in the brain and the sensitivity of eyes. There’s also a team looking for bacteria, fungi and viral colonies that could have adapted to the cold: a lot can be learned from organisms that can survive in extreme conditions and mission designers consider using them for purposes in future space travel.

Read about the crew’s life at the end of the world on the Concordia blog.
Copyright: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–B. Healey


Another Incredible Time Lapse from Terry Virts Aboard the International Space Station. 

“Wonder Upon Wonder”, for Earth Day.

(Vine Terry Virts)