What It Feels Like to Fly Over Planet Earth

Here’s what a lit­tle time and cre­ativ­i­ty brings. James Drake, a pro­fes­sor of Physics at U. Mary­land, down­loaded 600 images from The Gate­way to Astro­naut Pho­tog­ra­phy of Earth, stitched them into a mar­velous 60 sec­ond time-lapse film, then post­ed it on his Tum­blr blog, Infin­i­ty Imag­ined, along with this descrip­tion of what the view­er sees:

A time-lapse tak­en from the front of the Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion as it orbits our plan­et at night. This movie 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, Light­ning in the Pacif­ic Ocean, Guatemala, Pana­ma, Colum­bia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and the Ama­zon. Also vis­i­ble is the Earth­’s ionos­phere (thin yel­low line) and the stars of our galaxy.

It’s a won­der­ful long-dis­tance view of our great plan­et. But it’s not the only one out there. Some of our oth­er favorites include:

  • Tour­ing the Earth from Space (in HD) – Video — Give NASA 7 min­utes, and they’ll show you the Earth’s most impres­sive land­scapes (includ­ing a giant hur­ri­cane) as seen from space.
  • Earth­rise in HD – Video — In Novem­ber 2007, Japan’s Kaguya space­craft orbit­ed the moon and cap­tured the first HD footage of an “earth­rise” and “earth­set.” Stun­ning to see.
  • A Day on Earth (as Seen From Space) – Video – Astro­naut Don Pet­tit trained his cam­era on plan­et Earth, took a pho­to once every 15 sec­onds, and then cre­at­ed a bril­liant time-lapse film. Very sim­i­lar to what you see above.

All of these videos appear in our col­lec­tion 125 Great Sci­ence Videos: From Astron­o­my to Physics & Psy­chol­o­gy.

via @brainpicker

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