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image credit: Jack Fischer, Expedition 52, NASA

like salsa verde on your favorite burrito, a green aurora slathers up the sky in this june 25 snapshot from the International Space Station

about 400 kilometers above Earth, the orbiting station is itself within the upper realm of the auroral displays

Aurorae have the signature colors of excited molecules and atoms at the low densities found at extreme altitudes

emission from atomic oxygen dominates this view

the tantalizing glow is green at lower altitudes, but rarer reddish bands extend above the space station's horizon

the orbital scene was captured while passing over a point south and east of Australia, with stars above the horizon at the right belonging to the constellation Canis Major, Orion's big dog

Sirius, alpha star of Canis Major, is the brightest star near the Earth's limb