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STS-135 Crew and ISS Sees Aurora Australis
July 18, 2011
 

Earth orbit is a great place to watch geomagnetic storms. On July 14th, astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) witnessed a broad curtain of green auroras over the southern hemisphere. The display was caused by a solar wind stream which hit Earth's magnetic field on July 12th.
 

The STS-135 crew photographed the aurora austrialis over the South pole. › View larger
Space shuttle Atlantis, now docked to the ISS for the last resupply mission of NASA's 30-year shuttle program, was witness to beautiful green curtains of aurora over the Southern hemisphere. In addition to aurora, the picture also frames Atlantis's port side wing and a segment of the boom sensor system attached to the shuttle's robotic arm. Credit: NASA/STS-135 crew


Photograph of southern lights from the International Space Station during STS-135. › View larger
This panoramic shot of the aurora australis shows space shuttle Atlantis, the boom sensor system attached to the shuttle's robotic arm, and a portion of the ISS solar panels. Credit: NASA/STS-135 crew


Aurora australis as seen from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. › View larger
The same display was seen from Earth's surface from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. The picture also shows the SPUD microwave telescope on the left. Credit: NASA/Robert Schwarz
 

Tony Phillips/Holly Zell
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

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Page Last Updated: March 12th, 2014
Page Editor: Holly Zell