U.S. Astronaut Ed Lu, who spent 6 months on the International Space Station, still doesn’t know what caused the mysterious flashes of light he saw while studying the Earth’s aurora from space.

He spent 100 hours watching the northern and southern lights while on the ISS, so he’s familiar with the way they look from space. But on July 11, September 24 and October 12, Lu saw something different: flashes as bright as the brightest stars, that lasted only a second. Fellow astronaut Yuri Malenchenko also saw them on one occasion.

Lu is familiar with flashes from cosmic dust and meteors, and he says these weren’t from a satellite or space junk. He checked weather maps, which showed no lightning storms in the vicinity.

If we want to find out what’s going on, maybe we should just ask.

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