Coordinated Aurora Photography from Earth and Space (AuroraMAX) (AuroraMAX) - 06.18.15
For Coordinated Aurora Photography from Earth and Space (AuroraMAX), crewmembers photograph the aurora borealis from the International Space Station (ISS). The photography may be timed with periods of increased solar activity to increase the chances of photographing auroras. This is a public outreach initiative designed to inspire the public to learn more about solar-terrestrial science and how solar activity affects Earth. Science Results for Everyone
Scientists are using photographs of the aurora borealis taken from the International Space Station and Earth to inspire curiosity about solar activity and how it affects our planet. The aurora borealis, a light display above the Earth’s polar regions, occurs when charged particles from the sun collide with Earth’s magnetic field in the ionosphere, which is where the station orbits. Full-color images of the night sky taken every six seconds are instantly available online. The investigation is a partnership between the Canadian Space Agency, Astronomy North, the University of Calgary, and the City of Yellowknife. Experiment Details
Ruth Ann Chicoine, Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Saint Hubert, Quebec, Canada
Pierre Langlois, Space Technologies, St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada
Emma Spanswick, Ph.D., University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
Sponsoring Space Agency
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
ISS Expedition Duration
September 2011 - May 2012
Previous ISS Missions
- The aurora borealis is a display of light in the sky which generally happens around the polar regions of Earth when charge particles from the sun collide with the Earth’s magnetic field in the ionosphere (the region of the Earth’s atmosphere where the International Space Station (ISS) orbits).
- Coordinated Aurora Photography from Earth and Space (AuroraMAX) enhances awareness of the science of the aurora by engaging the public in simultaneous aurora observation and personal photography.
- The photography aboard the ISS is coordinated with a network of ground-based observatories across northern Canada during periods of solar activity.
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The Aurora Borealis as photographed from Earth. Image courtesy of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
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Auroral photography from the ISS, like this image from the crew of Expedition 23, provide valuable information about the structure and profiling of auroras, as well as captivating the public’s imagination. Image courtesy of NASA.
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