Every year, skywatchers from all around the world venture to the Earth's poles to gaze at one of nature's most captivating events—the auroras borealis and australis, or the Northern and Southern lights. As charged particles ejected from the Sun collide with neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere, brilliant light shows illuminate the night skies, sculpted by Earth's magnetic field.
On Sunday, NASA released a gorgeous video of this spectacle from above, captured in 4K resolution through the cupola of the International Space Station (ISS). From this rare space-down vantagepoint, it's easier to grasp the breadth of these mesmerizing auroral glows that light up the poles.
What's more, these auroras occasionally coincide with lightning storms, resulting in an electric display of Earth's atmospheric phenomena. Check out this money shot, for instance.
Aurora + thunderstorm = wow. Video: NASA/YouTube
The video is the latest release from NASA's new ultra-high-definition channel, which is "the first ever non-commercial consumer ultra-high definition (UHD) channel in North America," according to the agency. So nice work, NASA TV UHD, and please keep these vicarious space highs coming.