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View of Aurora from ISS
View of Aurora from ISS

This gorgeous view of the aurora was taken from the International Space Station as it crossed over the southern Indian Ocean on September 17, 2011. The sped-up movie spans the time period from 12:22 to 12:45 PM ET.

While aurora are often seen near the poles, this aurora appeared at lower latitudes due to a geomagnetic storm – the insertion of energy into Earth's magnetic environment called the magnetosphere – caused by a coronal mass ejection from the sun that erupted on September 14. The storm was a moderate one, rated with what's called a KP index of 6 on a scale that goes from 0 to 9, caused by just a glancing blow from the CME. Credit: NASA

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Page Last Updated: January 15th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator