Uranus Lights Up for Hubble

Those white areas aren’t clouds; they’re aurorae—”northern lights”—around the poles of Uranus, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2012 and 2014. (The image of Uranus itself was acquired by the Voyager 2 spacecraft in January 1986.) “The auroras on Jupiter and Saturn are well-studied, but not much is known about the auroras of the…

NASA’s Launching Rockets in Alaska to Study Ozone-Killing Compounds

A Black Brant IX sounding rocket was launched 175 miles high early Friday morning, Jan. 27, 2017, from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Poker Flat Research Range to study levels of nitric oxide in the atmosphere as part of the Polar Night Nitric Oxide Experiment (PolarNOx). “The aurora creates nitric oxide, but in the polar night there is no significant…

Juno Just Hours from Jupiter Arrival

After nearly 5 years of traveling through space NASA’s Juno spacecraft is just a few dozen hours away from entering orbit around Jupiter, the Solar System’s largest, most massive, and most extreme planet. “We are ready,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). “The science team is incredibly excited…

NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Spots Mars’ Secret Invisible Aurora

Only a day after skywatchers in mid- to upper-latitudes around the world were treated to a particularly energetic display of auroras on the night of March 17 as a result of an intense geomagnetic storm, researchers from the University of Colorado announced findings from NASA’s MAVEN mission of auroral action observed on Mars – although in invisible ultraviolet wavelengths rather than visible…

Jupiter’s Moons Make Ghostly Auroral “Footprints”

We have all marveled at incredible photos and time-lapse videos of Earth’s auroral displays, captured by talented photographers that have braved the frigid nighttime temperatures of remote high-latitude locations as well as by those privileged few living in orbit aboard the International Space Station. But our planet isn’t the only one with curtains of light crowning its…

Hubble Spots Saturn’s Northern Lights

Earth isn’t the only planet with auroras — any world with a magnetic field and an atmosphere can get a light show around its poles when its star’s wind is blowing hard enough!* The image above shows Saturn’s northern lights, as seen in ultraviolet light by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys in…

Canadarm Soars Above Waves of Aurora

Sparked by a coronal mass ejection emitted from a sunspot on July 12, Earth’s aurora leapt into action both at the north and south poles three days later. Here we can see a view of the southern lights, or aurora australis, shimmering in green waves below the Space Station’s Canadarm on July 15. With 7…

Aurora Ablaze

A very active Aurora Borealis was photographed by one of the Expedition 30 crew members aboard the International Space Station flying approximately 240 miles above Manitoba, Canada on Jan. 25, 2012. Lake Winnipeg (lower right center) and the major city Winnipeg (bottom center) are easily recognizable in the nighttime scene.

More ISS Awesomeness!

This just in: new time-lapses from the ISS, by way of the Image Science & Analysis Lab at Johnson Space Center and The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Enjoy! (Descriptions from JSC.)

Temporal Distortion: A Stunning New Time-Lapse by Randy Halverson

Here’s a gorgeous new time-lapse video created by the talented Randy Halverson and featuring a dramatic score by composer Bear McCreary, recently of Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead fame. (Can’t see the video above? Watch in HD on Vimeo here.) Breathtaking! Read more about this video below: