NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, currently stationed on the ISS, has snapped a jaw-dropping image of auroras surrounding Earth.
The NASA astronaut took to their personal Twitter account on March 1 to share the image with the public, showcasing a beautiful shot of the planet and auroras from a vantage point of approximately 250 miles above the surface of Earth. The presence of the auroras can be traced back to solar events that occurred in the days before February 26 and 27, which was when Earth's magnetic field was hit by a stream of charged particles from the Sun.
Solar events such as coronal magnetic ejections (CME), which is a large wave of charged particles ejected from the Sun, or streams of solar wind that spew from our star's corona, can collide with Earth when the planet happens to be caught a solar event's 'danger zone'. The impact charges particles in the upper atmosphere, creating the phenomena of auroras that typically appear closer to Earth's poles. However, during a solar storm, auroras can appear closer to the equator, with the most recent one being spotted in California and photographed above Death Valley National Park.
The auroras were spotted numerous times across the British Isles, but there seems to be no better place to view the event than where NASA astronaut Cassada saw it from. The view was described by Cassada as "absolutely unreal". Cassada arrived at the International Space Station last October with three other crew members that are all a part of SpaceX's Crew-5 mission, which is currently preparing to wrap up as the astronauts are scheduled to depart the ISS in about five days if everything goes according to plan and no delays present themselves.
Crew-5 will be replaced by Crew-6, which is actually on their way to the ISS as I write this article. Crew-6 has yet to officially dock, but once that is achieved, Crew-5 will hand over operations to Crew-6, then load the SpaceX's Dragon capsule with any cargo that needs to return back to Earth and begin their descent back home. Crew-6 consists of the first United Arab Emirates astronaut to perform a long-duration mission (Sultan Al-Neyadi), two NASA astronauts Warren "Woody" Hoburg and Stephen Bowen, Russian space agency Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
In other news, Elon Musk has considered the prospect of creating his own version of ChatGPT following his departure from OpenAI, the company he founded, eventually left and is now criticizing. If you are interested in reading more about that story, check out the below link.