Nasa astronaut captures 'inspiring' picture of aurora from space

Nasa has shared an ‘inspiring’ picture of the Southern Lights – the aurora australis – captured from the International Space Station (ISS).

The picture was taken Christina Koch (who’s still aboard the ISS) as she passed over the South Pole in the orbiting space lab.

Living aboard a spaceship doesn’t afford you a lot of free time, but at least there’s plenty of opportunity for capturing amazing pictures.

‘Years ago at the South Pole, I looked up to the aurora for inspiration through the 6-month winter night,’ Koch wrote alongside the picture in a tweet.

‘Now I know they’re just as awe inspiring from above.’

Auroras can be found at both the northern (Aurora borealis) and southern (Aurora australis) poles of our planet.

Auroras are caused by charged particles interacting with the nitrogen and oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere producing the brilliant green lights that play across the sky.

Interestingly, they also have a number of side-effects such as interfering with satellites or – in extreme cases – power grids down here on Earth.

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