ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet captured a stunning sight of an aurora during a full moon.

ESA / NASA / Thomas Pesquet

I have seen many photos taken from the International Space Station of auroras floating above Earth in magical waves of glowing light. They were all worthy of a moment of quiet reflection, but a new image of European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet left me speechless.

Pesquet is currently aboard the ISS, spinning in orbit and capturing beautiful views of our planet. He called this new dawn image “special because it is so bright” in a tweet on Friday. “It’s the full moon illuminating the dark side of the Earth, almost like daylight,” he explained.

The image of the ISS is from August. Pesquet has been in residence on the ISS since April and is expected to return to Earth in November. He put his skills in space photography to good use and recently blew us away with a photo of city lights on Earth reflected by stars in the dark.

The aurora is also called the aurora borealis or the aurora australis. “The dancing aurora lights provide spectacular views from the ground and also capture the imaginations of scientists studying incoming energy and particles from the sun,” NASA said.

But I am here for the breathtaking beauty of Pesquet’s image. For the way the clouds swirl and the blue waters of the Earth gush from below. Because the brilliant green glow that reminds me of a little magic is very real.

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