Both the Northern Lights and Southern Lights are always a stunner from the ground, but have you ever wondered what they look like from space?
European Space Agency's astronaut Thomas Pesquet had perhaps the best seat on the planet -- or near the planet -- of an aurora display that lit up the Southern Hemisphere skies last weekend.
After the capsule spent just over an hour in darkness as green lights danced around the South Pole, he was treated to a spectacular sunrise, just like the crew experiences every 90 minutes on their zippy orbit around Earth!
Aurora activity is expected to increase in the next couple of years as the sun heads toward what's known as the Solar Maximum part of its 11-year sunspot cycle.
Sunspots occasionally unleash solar flares that, if directed toward Earth, will interact with the planet's magnetic fields and trigger aurora displays around both the North and South Pole. In the Northern Hemisphere they're known as the aurora borealis, but in the lights near the South Pole are known as the aurora australis.
Stronger flares will push the auroras farther away from the poles – with the Northern Lights perhaps reaching into the northern U.S. states, as they did during a spectacular display on the weekend of Oct. 10.