Those lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis are always confronted with a truly exquisite view of the heavens. But every time this breathtaking light show in front of the camera is taken from space, it seems all the more awe-inspiring and otherworldly.
The Aurora photos shared on Twitter last week by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) make no Space.com .
The spectacular photos were taken by German astronaut Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency (ESA) in social media on 10 August.
In his Tweet, Gerst described the aurora as "overwhelming" and thought about the effect that such a miraculous apparition would have had on the very first humans to see the magnificent northern and southern lights
"Crazy again and again. I wonder what early explorers thought when they saw an aurora for the first time without ever having heard of it, "Gerts wrote on Twitter.
The astronaut's Twitter supporters jumped at the opportunity to admire the hypnotizing aurora from space, and thanked Gerst for the photos.
"Auroras always remind me of three things: Earth is small, fragile, and absolutely beautiful," a Twitter user responded to Gerst's post.
– Alexander Gerst (@ Astro_Alex) August 10, 2018
As NASA explains, auroras are produced by charged particles of the sun that emit either in the form of solar wind or giant solar torch eruptions coronal mass ejections. These particles are distributed throughout the solar system and reach the planetary atmospheres where they encounter nitrogen and oxygen molecules.
"After a two-to-three-day journey to Earth, the solar particles and magnetic fields cause the release of particles already trapped near Earth, which in turn trigger reactions in the upper atmosphere in which Oxygen and nitrogen molecules liberate light photons, resulting in the northern and southern lights, "explains the space agency.
The Express produces intense green Auroras when the sun's particles hit oxygen molecules in the upper atmosphere of our planet. These spectacular lights also flicker in yellow and can even be accompanied by violet flashes.
Meanwhile, interacting with nitrogen molecules creates breathtaking blue polar lights, just like the ones spotted on April 20 from the US and Canada. Inquisitr Report
This is Gerst's second stay aboard the ISS, Notes Space.com . The German astronaut arrived at the space station in early June, the Inquisitr reported back then and is currently part of Expedition 56, which is scheduled to last until October.
During his first space travel in 2014 Gerst made a series of snapshots that unveiled our planet from the Orbital Lab and assembled into a stunning time-lapse video of the Earth, such as the Inquisitr .