Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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Earth glows mystical green in epic aurora image from the International Space Station

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet captured a stunner of a view of an aurora during a full moon.

ESA/NASA/Thomas Pesquet

I’ve seen a lot of photos taken from the International Space Station of auroras floating over Earth in magical waves of glowing light. They have all been worthy of a moment of quiet reflection, but a fresh image from European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet has left me in awe.

Pesquet is currently on board the ISS, circling around in orbit and capturing some fine views of our planet. He called this new aurora image “special as it is so bright” in a tweet on Friday. “It is the full moon lighting up the shadow side of Earth, almost like daylight,” he explained.

The ISS image comes from August. Pesquet has been in residence on the ISS since April and is scheduled to return to Earth sometime in November. He has put his space photography skills to good use, recently wowing us with a photo of city lights on Earth mirrored by stars in the darkness

Auroras are also known as the northern lights or southern lights. “The dancing lights of the aurora provide spectacular views from the ground, and also capture the imaginations of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun,” NASA has said

But I’m here for the drop-my-jaw-to-the-floor beauty of Pesquet’s image. For the way the clouds swirl and Earth’s blue waters peek out from below. For the glowing green radiance reminding me some magic is real.

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