An astronaut on board the International Space Station had a front row view of “shooting stars” lighting up the sky over the Northern Hemisphere last weekend.
The composite image shows the bright lights of several meteors blazing into the atmosphere. Also captured were green bands of the aurora borealis, or northern lights.
Can you see shooting starts from space? Turns out, yes! The first meteor shower of the decade and we were lucky enough to catch it from the @Space_Station along with the northern lights. This is a composite image of a few of the #quadrantids as they blazed into the atmosphere. pic.twitter.com/ETdMRK1d86
— Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) January 6, 2020
Quadrantids are known for their bright fireball meteors—larger explosions of light and color that can last longer than an average meteor streak, according to NASA.
“The Quadrantids, which peak during early January each year, are considered to be one of the best annual meteor showers,” NASA says on its solar system exploration website.
Koch made history in December, setting the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman after she exceeded the previous record, set by NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2017, of 288 consecutive days in space.
Based on NASA’s schedule, Koch will remain on the International Space Station until February 2020, falling just shy of the longest single spaceflight by a NASA astronaut: 340 days, set by Scott Kelly. Astronauts normally stay on the station for six months.