Two great videos carry you aboard ISS, flying over planet Earth

These two time-lapse videos that give the feeling of being aboard the International Space Station, orbiting above our planet’s night side.

Seen this yet? It’s a time-lapse taken from the front of the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbits above our planet’s night side.

Yesterday2221 uploaded this video to YouTube on September 15, 2011. He says he got the raw data to make the video from the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. By the time I looked on September 24, this video had 4.5 million views. It begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica.

Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, El Salvador, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Lake Titicaca, and the Amazon. Also visible is Earth’s ionosphere (thin yellow line), a satellite (55sec) and the stars of our Milky Way galaxy. Beautiful! Thanks from all of us.

Here’s another really cool ISS video that hasn’t been nearly as widely seen yet, but it should be. It’s from JMajorLITD, who has apparently created several videos of auroras recently, all beautiful, using shots taken by astronauts aboard ISS.

The green above Earth are energetic aurora – the northern or southern lights seen over high latitudes on Earth – as seen from ISS while it flew 225 miles over the southern Indian Ocean on September 17, 2011. This 34-second video actually spans about 23 minutes of time, JMajorLITD says. Isn’t it amazing?

Bottom line: Here are two videos made using footage shot by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as it crosses Earth on the night side of our world. One shows many cities. The other shows Earth’s beautiful aurora.

Deborah Byrd

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