STS056-36-8
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Image Caption: STS-56 remote manipulator system (RMS) arm is backdropped against the "northern lights" (Aurora Borealis) in this view exposed from the crew cabin of Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103. The arm was used in operations with the Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy 201 (SPARTAN-201). Space Shuttle astronauts have the opportunity to observe auroral activity only on 57-degree inclination missions and only in the "night" hemisphere. Astronaut hand-held photography is the only method which is capable of documenting the detailed structure of the auroral oval.