Astronauts on the space shuttle Atlantis captured spectacular photos of Aurora Australis, also known as the Southern Lights, while orbiting the Earth.
The photos were taken using a long exposer and display the magesty of the natural phenomenon. The photo was taken on July 14, 2011. Bastille Day fireworks in Paris were not visible from space.
The Atlantis is currently docked at the International Space Station. It is the shuttle's final mission before NASA retires the program. Astronauts will undock on Tuesday and are expected home at Kennedy Space Center on July 21, around 6 a.m.
The light show is created when charged energy particles collide with atoms high in the Earth's atmosphere. The Aurora Australis can be seen in Australia, Antarctica and parts of South America.
Interestingly, auroras are not exclusive to Earth, and occur at the poles of other planets as well.