They may have to wait a while before returning home, but in the meantime the astronauts aboard the International Space Station must be having a ball. Check out this video shot from the ISS of the Aurora Australis.
Many aurora appear green, such as the accompanying image. But the colors also depend on which atoms cause the light that's being generated by a particular aurora. In this Sept. 26, 2011 image, for instance, lower-energy oxygen collisions as well as collisions with nitrogen atoms produce red photons -- resulting in an aurora with a red band.
Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
A view of the Aurora from the International Space Station it crossed over the southern Indian Ocean on September 17, 2011
The astronauts weren't the only ones snapping photos. Here's a view of an aurora taken near Lac du Flambeau, Wis. on Sept. 2.
Credit: Jeffrey R. Hapeman/NASA
A view of the aurora australis (Southern lights) as taken by the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) spacecraft on Sept. 11 in ultraviolet light.
Another view of the aurora from Moosehorn Dist. MB Canada on Sept. 12