• The Aurora Borealis from Space. (Image. NASA) (YouTube)
NASA has released a mesmerising Ultra-High Definition video of auroras in our planet's atmosphere - as seen from space.
By
Sarah Norton

20 Apr 2016 - 1:05 PM  UPDATED 20 Apr 2016 - 3:51 PM

Forget visiting Iceland to see the northern lights - NASA has released a stunning video of auroras as seen from space.

The video, shot in Ultra-High Definition, is breathtaking and, as some social media users have commented, even somewhat meditative. Behold.

Dazzling auroras

On their website, NASA describes the aurora phenomenon as "dancing lights."

As can be seen from the video, these lights put on a spectacular show in the darkened skies above Earth. The 'dancing lights' have been captured many times from below, but footage from space is rare.

Auroras are reactions occurring in the Earth's atmosphere, when oxygen and nitrogen molecules release photons of light.

"[They] capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun. Aurora are one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the sun both in steady stream called the solar wind and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections," NASA writes on their website.

Depending on which hemisphere you're in, the aurora seen on Earth are known as aurora borealis (northern lights), and aurora australis, their Southern Hemisphere counterpart.

 

Video released in NASA's new video format

The video of the auroras isn't just notable for the pretty lights it displays. The Ultra-High Definition delivers imagery with far greater accuracy and resolution than the best pictures from HDTV.

"Officially known as Ultra-High Definition Television, it has rapidly come to be known as "4K", a moniker derived from the approximate width of images measured in pixels horizontally across a screen," NASA writes on the website where they have released the first set of 4K video content to the public.

NASA is constantly at the forefront of advanced media technologies. They continue to present top quality science and engineering stories with videos such as the above. They captivate audiences while giving an insight into the world of space science.

"The release of these media are concurrent with the launch of a new, non-commercial Ultra-High Definition channel in partnership with Harmonic," the NASA website explains.

After television transformed to High-Definition TV, beyond the bulky boxes we used to have glaring at us in our homes, NASA has taken it to the next level. Ultra-High Definition takes us into space and shows us images we never dreamed possible from earth.

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