Here are time-lapse animations of the Earth seen from the International Space Station. This is your lucky week: three astonishing videos have been released in the past few days, and all three are absolutely worth your time to watch. Make sure to set them to hi-def first! You don’t want to miss the details of these space videos…
The first is short, and shows the view from the ISS looking down on Europe and Africa as it passes southeast down the Italy coast, across the Mediterranean, then across Egypt. I think you’ll find Italy and the Nile fairly obvious!
I like how you can see storms peppering the Egyptian and Israeli landscape. Bonus: The scene is lit by moonlight! You can even see the Moon reflected in the sea in the early seconds of the video. Incidentally, these space videos show the green arc over the edge of the Earth is called airglow—at night, molecules in the Earth’s upper atmosphere slowly release the energy they gained from the Sun during the day.
Next is a much longer but even more wonderful video, featuring photographs of Earth taken by astronaut Alexander Gerst.
This final video is about astronaut Don Pettit, who was one of the first to start taking dedicated high resolution photographs from the Space Shuttle and ISS missions. He worked very hard to figure out how best to take these photos, and in these space videos he talks about his work.