Feel Good Friday – Time-lapse footage of the Earth as seen from the ISS

by admin on May 18, 2012

Many wonders are visible when flying over the Earth at night. A compilation of such visual spectacles was captured recently from the International Space Station (ISS) and set to rousing music. Passing below are white clouds, orange city lights, lightning flashes in thunderstorms, and dark blue seas. On the horizon is the golden haze of Earth’s thin atmosphere, frequently decorated by dancing auroras as the video progresses. The green parts of auroras typically remain below the space station, but the station flies right through the red and purple auroral peaks. Solar panels of the ISS are seen around the frame edges. The ominous wave of approaching brightness at the end of each sequence is just the dawn of the sunlit half of Earth, a dawn that occurs every 90 minutes.

If your computer can support it, set viewing quality to high and full screen for best effect.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Lily May 18, 2012 at 9:28 am

I saw this a while back and had warm fuzzies all day. When I feel overwhelmed by problems and stress, I try to get out and see the stars. It reminds me just how tiny I am, and in relation, how insignificant all my problems are as well. It’s a wonderful perspective.


Roslyn May 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Gorgeous video!! I think I saw my house.


I loved the music too.


Ultra Venia May 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Very coool… thanks!


Magicdomino May 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I thought the aurora was spectacular from the ground; it is magnificent from space. The lightning strikes were pretty cool too.


Iris May 18, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Amazing. Thanks for sharing.


Cat Whisperer May 19, 2012 at 4:39 am


FWIW, we’re coming up on a “solar max” year, and that means that there will be more aurora activity, and the auroras will be even more spectacular.


Library Diva May 19, 2012 at 9:20 am

If you like astronomical stuff, the transit of venus is occurring on June 5. It will cross the sun and you’ll be able to see its shadow. The next time this will happen, it will be 2117.


A Nonny Mouse May 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm

I was really having some low thoughts tonight, then I watched this. It was so beautiful-it was the whole planet telling me ‘stay here, stay with me, look how much I love you’. Thank you so much for this.


Mabel May 20, 2012 at 9:56 am

Wow, that is amazing. Our planet is a busy little beast.

I know light pollution is a real problem, but the cities seen from an airplane and from space are really pretty.


Bearfoot May 29, 2012 at 11:28 am

But for us, it’s different. Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
—Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, pp. 8–9


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