For much of the summer, the sun has been relatively quiet – with few solar storms and displays of the northern lights.  But for several days over the last week, the solar wind has breathed into Earth’s atmosphere.

Overnight, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center reported minor geomagnetic storming, which spawned a beautiful aurora viewed from the International Space Station.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst shared these words and awe-inspiring views via Twitter (@Astro_Alex):

Words can’t describe how it feels flying through an . I wouldn’t even know where to begin…

(Alexander Gerst via Twitter)

 Swimming in an ocean of glow. In some moments it feels like Earth is actually alive

(Alexander Gerst via Twitter)

On Thursday, U.S. astronaut Reid Wiseman shared this stunning timelapse view of an aurora:

He also shared this swirly still:

The action began on Wednesday, when Wiseman posted this series of images:

See also: Beautiful aurora lights up the sky as far south as the upper Midwest