An awesome aurora photographed from the space shuttle Atlantis

The STS-135 crew of space shuttle Atlantis and the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station were treated with great views of the Aurora Australis. Here's one shot the crews photographed, showing a panoramic view of the station/shuttle complex along with several different astronomical beauties! The aurora shows up brightly, but what else is in the image? Looking closely –and southern hemisphere observers might recognize some objects better - but do you see the globular cluster Omega Centauri, the Coalsack Nebula and the Southern Cross? Anyone see anything else?

An awesome aurora photographed from the space shuttle Atlantis

Here's another great aurora shot from the ISS, where the green glow shows up even better. These images were taken on Thursday during one of the "night" passes for the station/shuttle. The astronauts mentioned the aurora during media interviews on Friday. "We saw an incredible Southern Lights aurora," said STS-135 pilot Doug Hurley. "It was the best one I've seen in my two spaceflights. It was just unbelievable, the view out the cupola."

See larger views on NASA's mission gallery page.

Photo credit: NASA. This post originally appeared on Universe Today.