NASA Video of the Aurora Borealis from Space Is Otherworldly

Another staggeringly cool time lapse from the International Space Station.

NASA Aurora Borealis
Youtube/NASA

You haven’t seen the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis until you’ve seen this 4K, 60-fps time-lapse footage from the International Space Station. Uploaded to NASA TV UHD over the weekend, it shows “both the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis phenomena that occur when electrically charged electrons and protons in the Earth’s magnetic field collide with neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere.”

It’s wilder than just about anything you’ll see in Star Trek Beyond, because while the footage looks like it was cooked up in Hollywood computers, it’s gloriously real. That's the beauty of our planet in ultra-high res, and proof that colliding atoms are as gorgeous as they are unpredictable.

It comes courtesy of NASA’s hook-up with Harmonic to launch NASA TV UHD last summer. Formerly constrained by bandwidth issues to piecing together photos in time-lapse videos, Harmonic’s IP architecture is like a data jet stream, allowing the US space agency to also get proper video footage from ISS to ground in a timely manner and “showcase the breathtaking beauty and grandeur of space.” There have only been sporadic uploads to various channels, but what’s there is monumental. Even two guys turning wrenches in the ISS is mesmerizing when shown in widescreen detail. We will one day get a buffet of new 4K videos as well as remastered footage from past missions, but until then enjoy this new view of the Blue Marble.

If you tire of that, check out Harmonic’s 4K Beauty Content channel. Venice in 4K is the next best thing to being there.