This photo, shot by an astronaut at the Worldwide House Station (ISS), met Aurora and Airglow, Earth’s most colourful high-atmospheric event, two days earlier. Wavy looks inexperienced, intersecting the muted red-yellow bands of the airglow, the red-topped Karplus of the Aurora borealis as the ISS handed over just south of the Alaska Peninsula. At the time of this picture, the sun rising behind the organ of the Earth gives a dark blue colour to the horizon. Starlight connects with the light morning skyscape from the cities of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.
Although they appear to be at related altitudes, the aurora and airglow are produced by completely different physical processes. Nocturnal airglow (or nightglow) is a type of chemical, which is the emission of sunlight from the chemical relationships between oxygen, nitrogen, and other molecules within a high atmosphere. Airglow occurs on a regular basis, all over the earth. Nevertheless, “nightglow” is far easier to identify darker earth than “deals,” because the airlock is only as bright as solar.
However, the aurora stems from the interaction between solar energy and the Earth’s magnetic field. The magnetic field funnels electricity into the higher atmosphere, where it interacts with airglow (mainly oxygen and nitrogen) with the same atom.
This is why each event can produce corresponding colours. The dynamic nature of the Earth’s magnetic field affects photovoltaic power in irregular ways, making each aurora opportunity visually distinct.
More recently, Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA’s Johnson House Heart used machine learning to determine photos that astronauts have taken of Auroras in the past few years. Search the photo of Astronaut from the Gateway to Earth database for “Aurora”. Over 270,000 photos of those magnetic wonders to see.
The picture was clicked by a member of the Expedition 62 crew. The image has been cropped and enhanced to enhance distinction, and lens artefacts have been eliminated.