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Space Age St. Patrick's Day
Hugh Bollinger

Space Age St. Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick with green shamrock (credit: Wikipedia)

While Saint Patrick's Day is some months off, NASA once celebrated the merry day with an image of spectacular green auroras observed from the International Space Station. It's worth sharing again.


Patrick of Ireland is the patron saint of that nation. He arrived on the green isle around 430 AD as a missionary to Christianize the island's people who lived beyond the control of the Romans based in England. Patrick is often depicted wearing a green cloak and holding a shamrock like the verdant country of his birth. Patrick had been captured when a child to a slave and escaped as an adult to return to his pre-Christian homeland. To honor Patrick's birthday, celebrations now happen wherever people of Irish dissent live. Parties, dances, and beer steins flow freely as in pagan times.

NASA astronauts celebrated one St. Paddy's Day from the safe distance of 250 miles high above the Earth. They shared their view of the shimmering green light show that was happening below them.


                    Green auroras from the International Space Station  (credit: NASA)

A new Landsat satellite image shows just how green the Irish island looks from higher space. WHB

                                        Ireland from space (credit: NASA/Landsat)




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