Nearly a decade ago the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) captured some gorgeous photos of the aurora borealis glowing over Vancouver from nearly 400 km above our blue marble.
Every so often Vancouverites are treated to the beautiful pastels painted on the night sky by ionized winds from the sun colliding with Earth's magnetic field. Less often though can we see the phenomenon from space.
The night of Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, 40 images were taken aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with a Nikon D3S using a focal length of 28 mm. The camera captured the city lights of Seattle and Vancouver but above Vancouver and stretching from one side of the image to the other is the swirling band of green light so chased by nighttime photographers.
The images can be found on NASA's Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth, a service provided by the ISS program, the JSC Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit, ARES Division and Exploration Integration Science Directorate.
The service has a searchable database where high quality images taken from (literally) around the world can be found and downloaded for free.