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 created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.