TECH

This Is What The Southern Lights Look Like From Space

The view from above🔭

27/04/2017 12:43 BST

If you’re lucky enough in your lifetime you might get to see the auroras from earth, visiting the Northern or Southern lights to see the dancing colours.

But seeing the magnetically charged poles from above, from space, is a privilege afforded to very few.

That is, until now.

Satellite images captured by NASA’s newest climate and weather equipment, the Suomi NPP Satellite, have now been shared on social media so everyone gets a chance to see the Antarctic auroras from space.

Zack Labe, PhD student and climate expert at Cornell University, tweeted the pictures, which have been stitched together to give a view of the auroras as seen looking down.

Not only does it look amazing, but pretty chilly too.

Labe said: “Fascinating NASA NPP (day/night band) mosaic today highlighting the auroras around Antarctica. Or maybe it’s from ‘The Ring’ (2002)?” 

The ‘Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite’ that collected the images for NASA is a scanning radiometer that collects visible and infrared imagery and radiometric measurements of the land, atmosphere, cryosphere, and oceans.

According to NASA, climatologists can use VIIRS data to improve our understanding of global climate change.

The southern lights, or aurora australis, are one of nature’s light-shows that can be seen in the Southern hemisphere.

They are sometimes seen in Australia, and often seen from Halley Research Station, in Antarctica but less often from South Georgia, according to the British Antarctic Survey.