Are these the Northern Lights seen from space?

March 30, 2018

A supposed photograph of an aurora is actually a screenshot of a computerized animation.

A viral object gives a genuine view of the aurora borealis (or aurora australis) far above the planet.


A viral image that shows a circle of multicolored lights that surrounds the planet is often shared on social media as if it were an authentic photograph of the aurora boreal phenomenon seen from space:

This image originated from NASA, as claimed in the caption of this image – but this is not an authentic photograph taken from a spaceship orbiting the Earth, but a screenshot of an animation about how the Earth’s magnetic field generates the aurorae . It was created in 2005 by the main animator Walt Feimer and the Conceptual Image Lab of the NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center as part of the series of concept animations “Live from the Aurora”.

The official NASA video can be seen here. A copy of YouTube is included below:

Participate with electrons along the Earth’s magnetic field line at the aurora training site.

Fortunately, we must not rely solely on a conceptual work to imagine the aurora borealis (or aurora australis) from space, as NASA has captured several videos of the phenomenon:

Harmonic produced this show exclusively for NASA TV UHD, using time-lapse shot from the International Space Station, showing both the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis phenomena that occur when electrons and electrically charged protons in the Earth’s magnetic field collide with neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere.

Another video from NASA provides more information:

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