aurora borealis
Sparkling cities below the International Space Station are haloed by an aurora on the Earth's horizon on May 26, 2015. Crew members of Expedition 43 took this image of another day beginning from the vantage point of the station and its crew, high above. NASA

On Sunday, American astronaut Scott Kelly released a short time-lapse video showing the Aurora Borealis from space. The footage, taken on the 141st day of the mission -- in line for a record-breaking year-long stint aboard the International Space Station -- shows the swirling green and violet river of the Northern Lights meeting the blinding white of the sunrise.

Aurorae are produced when charged particles, carried by solar winds, enter Earth’s magnetosphere -- a region of space formed by the interaction between stellar winds and the planet’s magnetic field. Once within the magnetosphere, Earth’s magnetic field lines direct the charged particles toward its poles, where they collide with gas atoms in the atmosphere and produce the bright emissions associated with auroras. Oxygen, for instance, produces the green colors in an aurora while nitrogen causes blue or red colors.

Kelly is part of a joint mission by NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos that aims to understand how the harsh, low-gravity environment of space affects the human body.

Like his predecessor Chris Hadfield -- who, among other things, is known for his microgravity rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” -- Kelly has been sharing daily updates from the ISS since the start of the mission, posting images of the planet from above, including photographs that show human-inflicted damage to ecosystems.