Shuttle pictures southern lights
July 16th, 2011
11:46 AM ET

Shuttle pictures southern lights

A member of the space shuttle Atlantis crew snapped this spectacular image of the aurora australis, or southern lights.

The glowing phenomenon is caused by magnetic energy from the sun interacting with Earth's magnetic field, causing electrons to glow like a giant fluorescent light.

Part of the orbiter boom sensor system is visible; it was attached to the end of the shuttle's robotic arm. A part of the shuttle's left wing is at right.

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Filed under: Atlantis • NASA • Space
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO )

    There's a big difference between "Tea Partiers"; "bleeding heart Liberals"; "and individuals that are no more than sociopaths that are just a few fries short of a happy meal".

    July 16, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. HRH banasy

    AJ:
    A volcano.

    July 16, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO )

    Oh yeah....those aurora austrailis lights? They're pretty. Just like the aurora borealis. They disappear just as fast as they mysteriously appear.

    July 16, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Chad Williams

    @Joey: Do you even know what the Tea Party is about?

    July 16, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. HRH banasy

    @Chad Williams:
    That's a troll trolling Joey.
    It does that with several people's names here.
    One can tell by his rants against the 'right wing thugs in Washington' and 'Tea Party Lingo', et al.
    He'll probably troll you, too; he does this with most people.
    I call it the Troll Brigade, which he'll then change to the Tea Party Brigade.
    He won't go to the Political Ticker blog, because he knows he'll get nowhere there.
    Just ignore him.
    He's rather dim.

    July 17, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. gumby

    The beauty in nature.

    July 17, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. gumby

    @ HRH banasy. Hello.

    July 17, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. woldeselassie

    It is so amaizing to see such a beuty of "Nature"

    July 17, 2011 at 2:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Oh wow.
    Trolls after me and then my name reprimanded and then banasy has my back but I was asleep through the whole thing.
    Do I know what TEA is all about?
    Boy do I but I don't fit in there, with that group.
    I hate the polarization that's occurred in my country.
    I'm getting up to get my worm for which somebody derided me yesterday.
    Worms are protein too.

    July 17, 2011 at 3:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. SD

    Why has no one pointed out that this photograph is focused on the WING of the shuttle instead of the light display which is the purported subject of the photograph? We pay $5-6,000 dollars per pond to get payload in to low earth orbit aboard the shutlle. Can we not afford a MANUAL-focus camera?

    July 17, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. HRH banasy

    @gumby: hello.

    @JIF: *Sigh*

    SD: it's still a lovely photo. Careful that you don't miss the forest for the trees.
    Could it be they were *trying* to take a photo of the wing, and the Aurora was a beautiful accident?
    I don't know...
    Fab picture, anyhow.

    July 17, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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