@UWCIMSS

The northern lights look cool enough from below, but what about above?

Seen from the ground, the aurora borealis is a mighty sight—like being slapped in the eyes with a writhing rainbow. But glimpsed from space the vision is also top-rate, in this case painting America with ghostly streams of light.

The Suomi NPP satellite took the above image around 2:40 a.m. ET on Wednesday as a powerful coronal mass ejection buffeted the atmosphere. During this so-called St. Patrick's Day Geomagnetic Storm, snaking emanations sometimes dipped below the Canadian border to caress Minnesota, North Dakota, and Illinois. Scott Bachmeier ‏of the University of Wisconsin-Madison tweeted this view of the spectral invasion:

@CIMSS_Satellite

Of course, the folks on the International Space Station also had balcony seats:

Because it would be mean not to show what it looked like to us land-mammals, here are views from across the Northern Hemisphere:

Anders Jildén
Anders Jildén

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