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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Mission Alpha & Auroras From Space
Hugh Bollinger

Mission Alpha & Auroras From Space

Auroras from the Space Station (credit: Thomas Pesquet ESA)


Thomas Pesquet is an astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA) stationed on the International Space Station (ISS). He is also a professional photographer who has been capturing spectacular images of Earth landforms when he sees a unique angle or lighting. Pesquet captured  an image of a series of circular, curtains of blue and green auroras swirling around a hole in the Earth's atmosphere. Pesquet commented:


We were treated to the strongest auroras of this entire Alpha mission over North America and Canada. Amazing spikes higher than our orbit, and we flew right above the center of the ring, with rapid waves and pulses visible all over.

Thomas is a member of the ESA's Mission Alpha team on his second tour of duty on the space station spending a total of nearly a year in space. It is likely he will long remember the shimmering rings of Northern Lights he viewed from above. WHB

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