We already know that our beloved Sun has been a little restless lately. It managed to give some the creeps and make them speculate about pretty nasty outcomes if our star’s activity intensifies. But glowing auroras emerged on our planet as a result, giving people the opportunity to take photos of the beautiful phenomenon.
An astronaut on board the International Space Station managed to take an unforgettable photo of the event. Thomas Pesquet is the man in charge, and he serves as an astronaut for the European Space Agency.
Behold the unforgettable image:
We were treated to the strongest auroras of the entire mission, over north America and Canada. Amazing spikes higher than our orbit🤩, and we flew right above the centre of the ring, rapid waves and pulses all over. #MissionAlpha https://t.co/5rdb08ljhx pic.twitter.com/0liCkGvRCh
— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) November 6, 2021
It’s nice to see that the International Space Station is still gathering impressive information and pieces of evidence about what’s happening above our heads. However, even a majestic project as the ISS, which involves the participation of five space agencies (NASA, the ESA, Roscosmos, JAXA, and the CSA), will retire one day.
Commercial space stations could replace the ISS
NASA’s Administrator Bill Nelson revealed a few months ago that when the International Space Station will retire, commercial space stations could take its place.
Bill Nelson declared, as cited by Space.com:
Unfortunately, I believe we’re in a space race with China,
I’m speaking on behalf of the United States, for China to be a partner. I’d like China to do with us as a military adversary, like Russia has done … I would like to try to do that. But China is very secretive, and part of the civilian space program is that you’ve got to be transparent.
Auroras occur on Earth as a result of a solar wind getting in contact with the planet’s magnetic field. Up into the ionosphere, the ions belonging to the solar wind will intersect the atoms of hydrogen and nitrogen. Such collisions will ultimately release energy in the form of a glowing halo, meaning that an aurora is born.