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Northern Michigan astronaut photographs auroras and Mackinac Straits from space

Every day Dr. Bob Lorinser shares an "MI01 Photo of the Day" on social media highlighting the majesty of Michigan's First District.

To fund this content and Bob Lorinser's campaign for Congress, celebrate Northern Michigan and the UP by making a contribution to Lorinser's Rural Michigan Fund.

Last Thursday, Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula witnessed one of the most spectacular Northern Lights displays in generations. Like thousands of Michigan residents, Dr. Bob shared several images of the storm.

"Beyond politics and legislation, constituents want to be assured their candidate cares about the district they seek to represent," said Lorinser. "I love living here, so we're celebrating the northern Michigan lifestyle by highlighting local accomplishments, culture, people, and communities."

We live in the most beautiful place on the planet. - Dr. Bob

Just as localized to the district is this photograph of the auroras from the International Space Station (ISS) taken by Northern Michigan astronaut Captain Josh Cassada.

Cassada is a pilot/physicist married to hometown Charlevoix resident Megan Friedly. They have two children and live in the district. At the start of his four-month mission with SpaceX, he visited with Charlevoix High School students wearing a school sweatshirt.

Mackinac Straits

In February, Cassada published an image of Northern Michigan that shows the winter landscape of our two peninsulas meeting at the Mackinac Bridge.

"Made a great pass over sunny Northern Michigan yesterday as my family was actually down there skiing," said Cassada "I sent these shots to my kids and told them, 'Good luck with the Space edition of ‘Where’s Waldo?'"

It's not the first time seeing the Mackinac Bridge from space. In April 2018, the ISS published a crystal clear image of the Straits of Mackinac.

MI01 from Space

Over the years, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) of the Department of Commerce has published several images of Michigan and the Great Lakes. Some favorites include the Upper Peninsula with an orange glow reflecting on Lake Superior, fall foliage, and a photo by Terry V. Wirts of all five Great Lakes.

Auroras from ISS

During his #YearInSpace, Astronaut Scott Kelly shared these exciting photos of the Northern Lights taken above the United States. Captured in January of 2016, the images show the surreal beauty of the magnetic disturbances and solar waves over the Northeast Pacific.

Cassada's Mission

Charlevoix's Josh Cassada arrived at the ISS in October of 2022 along with three other crew members of SpaceX's Crew 5 Mission.

During their mission, the international team contributed to hundreds of experiments and technology demonstrations, including cardiovascular health, bioprinting, and fluid behavior in microgravity, to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and to benefit life on Earth.

The Photo

NASA hasn't yet published a photo of the latest solar storm on March 23, but last month, Captain Cassada captured a spectacular bird's eye view of the supercharged auroras, posted with the simple caption,

"Absolutely unreal."

Safe Return Home

Cassada returned safely from his mission earlier this month.

"With the support of so many incredible people over many years, we all accomplished the mission," said Cassada. "We left the International Space Station and human spaceflight a little better than we found it. Thank you. With that, please consider this my out-of-the-office for a while."

"On behalf of the district, we welcome Josh back to Earth," said Lorinser. "I hope he enjoys a well-deserved staycation in Northern Michigan. We're grateful for the stunning photos, but more importantly, the critical research conducted by his team in the name of scientific discovery."

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