Science educator James Drake assembled this time-lapse video of Earth at night from International Space Station imagery. Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. (Credit: Infinity Imagined)
This must-see video condenses the International Space Station's night flight over Earth into 60 seconds, courtesy of science educator James Drake. He downloaded a series of 600 pictures from the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth — a voluminous archive of a half-century's worth of imagery from the space station and NASA's manned spacecraft. Then he assembled them into the clip you see here using VirtualDub software.
The flight to the sunrise begins over the Pacific Ocean and zooms at an altitude of about 220 miles (350 kilometers) past Vancouver Island and Victoria, the Pacific Northwest and the American Southwest, Texas and Mexico, Central and South America. The highlights to watch for include constellations of city lights, lightning flashes in the clouds, the stars whirling in the night sky above, the faint brown-yellow atmospheric airglow that rims the eastern horizon, and the glorious dawn at the end.
For more of Drake's work, check out his Infinity Imagined website.
More amazing imagery from orbit:
- Atlantis' descent witnessed from the space station
- Solar storms spark beautiful blasts over Earth
- India-Pakistan border shines out into space
- Egypt's river of light snakes through the night
- Slideshow: Month in Space Pictures
Tip o' the Log to Fraser Cain at Universe Today.
Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the log's Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter or adding me to your Google+ circle. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for other worlds.