Two Of Earth's Most Colourful Phenomena Meet In NASA's Stunning Pic From Space

The picture was shot by an astronaut on the International Space Station

Two Of Earth's Most Colourful Phenomena Meet In NASA's Stunning Pic From Space

Aurora and airglow meet just before dawn in this stunning picture.

Two of Earth's most colourful upper atmospheric phenomena, aurora and airglow, met in this stunning photograph shared by NASA. Taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station, the photograph shows the easily-recognisable green of aurora borealis intersecting with the wispy, golden-ish band of airglow above the Earth. 

"Aurora, meet airglow," wrote the US space agency while sharing the spectacular image on Instagram a few hours ago. Describing them as two of Earth's most colourful upper atmospheric phenomena, NASA wrote: "Aurora and airglow met just before dawn in this March 16 photo shot by an astronaut on the International Space Station."

The photo was taken as the ISS passed south of the Alaskan Peninsula. Below the aurora and airglow, sparkling lights from British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, dotted the skyscape, as stars lit up the early morning sky above.  

 "Wavy green, red-topped wisps of aurora borealis appear to intersect the muted red-yellow band of airglow as the ISS passed just south of the Alaskan Peninsula," the agency wrote. 

NASA further explained that though they appear similar, aurora and airglow are formed by different processes. While auroras stem from interactions between solar energy and Earth's magnetic field, airglows are "the emission of light from chemical interactions between oxygen, nitrogen, and other molecules in the upper atmosphere."

Aurora, meet airglow ???? ⁣ Two of Earth's most colorful upper atmospheric phenomena, aurora and airglow, met just before dawn in this March 16 photo shot by an astronaut on the International Space Station (@iss).⁣ ⁣ Wavy green, red-topped wisps of aurora borealis appear to intersect the muted red-yellow band of airglow as the station passed just south of the Alaskan Peninsula. The rising Sun, behind Earth's limb at the time of this photo, adds a deep blue to the horizon. Light from cities in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, joins starlight to dot the early morning skyscape.⁣ ⁣ Though they appear at similar altitudes, aurora and airglow are produced by different physical processes. Airglow is the emission of light from chemical interactions between oxygen, nitrogen, and other molecules in the upper atmosphere. Auroras, on the other hand, stem from interactions between solar energy and Earth's magnetic field. ⁣ ⁣ Credit: NASA⁣ Caption: Alex Stoken, @nasajohnson⁣ ⁣ #airglow #aurora #earthatnight #nasa #atmosphere

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The picture has collected over 8.4 lakh 'likes' on Instagram along with thousands of comments.

"Wow! Breathtaking," wrote one person in the comments section, while another said: "Never seen this perspective of the aurora lights before. Wonderful!"

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