[Resent id=11155976 2011-07-21 13:24:27 from marc]
NASA satellites on the current Atlantis space shuttle mission were able to capture the geomagnetic phenomenon known as Aurora Australis while it was in progress. The phenomenon, which is called Aurora Borealis in the North, is a natural light display caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere.
The view came as the spacecraft undocked from the International Space
Station for the final time. The spacecraft is headed home after completing its final eight days at the I.S.S. Once it returns home, NASA will retire the space shuttle program for the final time.
Here are a few photos the crew of Atlantis was able to snap.
Space shuttle Atlantis, now docked to the ISS for the last resupply mission of NASA's 30-year shuttle program, was witness to beautiful green curtains of aurora over the Southern hemisphere.
This panoramic shot of the aurora australis shows space shuttle Atlantis, the boom sensor system attached to the shuttle's robotic arm, and a portion of the ISS solar panels.
This image is of Atlantis and its Orbital Boom Sensor System robot arm
extension backdropped against Earth's horizon and a greenish phenomenon associated with Aurora Australis.
The same display was seen from Earth's surface from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. The picture also shows the SPUD microwave
telescope on the left.
Source: LA Times