Stunning Image from the International Space Station Shows Earth Enveloped in a Rare Airglow

  • A NASA astronaut captured the stunning photos from the International Space Station
  • The orbiting station is 220 miles above Earth
  • Phenomenon typically occurs when molecules are energized by ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight
  • NASA is about to launch a new satellite to study the phenomenon called Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON)

On October 7, 2018, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) captured this incredible image of Earth while orbiting at an altitude of more than 250 miles over Australia.

It shows a rare phenomenon known as an airglow, coloring the entire sky.

‘The orange hue enveloping Earth is known as airglow, a diffuse bands of light that stretch 50 to 400 miles into our atmosphere,’ NASA explained.

‘It can help scientists learn about the movement of particles near the interface of Earth and space, including the connections between space weather and Earth weather.’

It is the latest in a series of stunning space images.

While sunrises on Earth can be impressive, from orbit, they take on a whole new dimension.

These incredible images, taken by European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst are the lateast in a stunning series of images he has taken from the ISS.

However, these are the images that rendered him speechless.

‘I don’t know any words, in any language, to match the beauty of an orbital sunrise’ he said after witnessing the incredible scene.

 Last most he captured amazing images of a super typhoon.

‘As if somebody pulled the planet’s gigantic plug,’ he wrote.

‘Staring down the eye of yet another fierce storm. Category 5 Super Typhoon Trami is unstoppable and heading for Japan and Taiwan. Be safe down there!’

Gerst attained the unique perspective from 250 miles above the surface, aboard the orbiting International Space Station. 

The stunning photo offers a glimpse into the views seen only by the astronauts on the ISS.

Gerst is currently leading the Horizons mission on the ISS, in his second stint at the orbiting lab.

He previously shared a stunning timelapse of what it’s like to fly over Earth at speeds unimaginable to the average person.

The video shows an incredible view of the trip over Alaska to the Andes in 260 seconds.

The crews aboard the space station frequently share updates on their life hundreds of miles above the surface, showing what it’s like to live and work in orbit for months on end.

In the past, they’ve revealed stunning views of everything from auroras to moon-sets.

Earlier this month, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev released a video of the narrow tunnels astronauts must traverse to navigate the ISS.

And, it’s not an environment for those put off by small spaces.

The video showed a brief trip through the longest route on the ISS, passing through the main section where the astronauts spend most of their time, to the cafeteria, the Russian section, and the storage and service modules.

The $100 billion orbiting lab is currently home to a crew of six, including geophysicist and volcanologist Gerst.

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