Watch me coruscate. NASA

This clip is only 15 seconds long, but it is incredible.

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station shot a video in the past week that shows the aurora borealis, or northern lights, glimmering green on the horizon as it meets the sunrise over earth.

It lasts for just fifteen incredible seconds.

As the station travels over the northeastern seaboard of America, it captures an interplay of light not only from the receding aurora and the coming dawn, but also from the cities flung out in luminous webs on land that the rising sun has yet to hit.

The film was shot by the station's commander, Barry "Butch" Wilmore who wrote "#sunrise touches #aurora. All we need now are angels singing" when he posted the video on NASA's Facebook page.

Washington D.C., Baltimore, New York City, and Boston have rarely looked so beautiful. The Atlantic is an expanse of cloud-spattered darkness.

Footage and photos taken by the two women and four men aboard the station, which includes a live streamed video, has been captivating cyberspace since the current mission, number 42, launched in November 2014.

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

More from Quartz:

Jeb Bush's Transparency Push Violated Employees' and Constituents' Privacy

The Unstoppable Rise of the English Premier League

The False Vaccine Debate Shows We're in a Golden Age of Believing Whatever We Want

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a full parking lot with a double rainbow over it
    Transportation

    Parking Reform Will Save the City

    Cities that require builders to provide off-street parking trigger more traffic, sprawl, and housing unaffordability. But we can break the vicious cycle.   

  2. a photo of a man at a bus stop in Miami
    Transportation

    Very Bad Bus Signs and How to Make Them Better

    Clear wayfinding displays can help bus riders feel more confident, and give a whole city’s public transportation system an air of greater authority.

  3. a map comparing the sizes of several cities
    Maps

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  4. A woman looks straight at camera with others people and trees in background.
    Equity

    Why Pittsburgh Is the Worst City for Black Women, in 6 Charts

    Pittsburgh is the worst place for black women to live in for just about every indicator of livability, says the city’s Gender Equity Commission.

  5. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

×