Several readers sent me this: it’s a series of time-lapse photos, made into a video, taken from the International Space Station from August to October of this year. Kudos to Michael König, who put the video into hi-def format and edited it for smoothness.
Take five minutes and look at our pale blue dot from about 200 miles above. The auroras are fantastic, as are the lightning storms and city lights. Wouldn’t it be nice to be up there, at least for a couple of days? And be sure to click through to get this on full screen.
König lists the shooting locations in order of appearance in the video.
1. Aurora Borealis Pass over the United States at Night
2. Aurora Borealis and eastern United States at Night
3. Aurora Australis from Madagascar to southwest of Australia
4. Aurora Australis south of Australia
5. Northwest coast of United States to Central South America at Night
6. Aurora Australis from the Southern to the Northern Pacific Ocean
7. Halfway around the World
8. Night Pass over Central Africa and the Middle East
9. Evening Pass over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East
10. Pass over Canada and Central United States at Night
11. Pass over Southern California to Hudson Bay
12. Islands in the Philippine Sea at Night
13. Pass over Eastern Asia to Philippine Sea and Guam
14. Views of the Mideast at Night
15. Night Pass over Mediterranean Sea
16. Aurora Borealis and the United States at Night
17. Aurora Australis over Indian Ocean
18. Eastern Europe to Southeastern Asia at Night
From Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy:
I’m so overwhelmed by the beauty and coolness of this video I’m not sure which part I like best! The cities streaming by underneath; the instantly recognizable outlines of familiar places like the Great Lakes or the boot of Italy; the incredible flickering thunderstorms — giving you an understanding that there are always thousands of such storms all over the planet at any one time; the incredible 3D view of the green and red aurorae which you can actually see as towering structures dozens or even hundreds kilometers in height; the stars rising and setting and spinning over the horizon; the reflection of the Moon on the Earth below following along our point of view at 2:50 into the footage; or the thin glowing arc above the horizon:airglow, caused by molecules in the upper atmosphere slowly emitting light as they release energy accumulated during the day.
h/t: Richard vis Diane G., Matthew Cobb