In recent weeks, the crew on board the International Space Station have been treated to some awesome views of space weather in action. The sun, which has been spluttering out some small to mid-sized flares and coronal mass ejections recently, frequently injects charged particles into our planet's magnetosphere. After being channeled toward high latitudes by Earth's magnetic field, this solar plasma impacts our atmosphere, erupting into a stunning auroral display.What is the Aurora Borealis?
This view from the space station was captured by one of the crew and shows the multicolored streamers of an aurora over the Southern Hemisphere -- known as the Aurora Australis. The different colors correspond to different gases in the atmosphere becoming energized by the solar plasma impacting the atmosphere at high altitudes.
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyevcaptured this eerie photo
of a diffuse aurora over Earth out of one of the space station's windows. The orbiting outpost's solar panels can be seen to the left.
With the space station's robotic Canadarm 2 folded outside the space station, NASA astronaut Reid Wisemanposted this photograph of an aurora to Twitter on Aug. 29
A bright green aurora snakes over the atmosphere below the space station. Green aurorae are caused by lower altitude oxygen atoms in our atmosphere being energized by solar wind electrons.
A burst of beautiful green and red aurorae were spotted on Aug. 19 and NASA astronaut Reid Wisemantweeted this photo with the message
: "Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this."
The nighttime hemisphere of the Earth is almost dark apart from the ghostly glow of a green aurora.
Often resembling a curtain swaying in the wind, aurorae are strikingly dynamic. They morph into a variety of shapes depending on the quantity of solar plasma hitting the atmosphere and the orientation of the magnetic field.Photographed here by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst
on Aug. 27, a stunning, curved aurora cuts across the limb of the Earth.
Looking down at Earth during a solar storm, ESA astronaut Alexander Gersttweeted this photo on Sept. 2 with the message
, "This is what we see looking down while being inside an aurora."
The moon sets into an "glowing ocean of green",as described by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst in a tweet on Sept. 3
. Two Soyuz spacecraft can be seen in the foreground docked to the space station.