Every frame in the video you are about to see is a photo taken from astronauts on board the International Space Station. Those photos are free to the public, free to admire, and free for gifted artists like Knate Meyers to string together in a mesmerizing time lapse video. Go full screen, hit HD, turn up your speakers, and behold:
I love how several of the images used in the sequence are long exposures, allowing for the stars and the surface of the Earth below to blur into trails as ISS orbits at over 17,500 miles per hour. At 0:40, you can see one of the docked Soyuz spacecraft firing it’s attitude jets to help the space station maintain its orientation.
ISS’ orbit is inclined 51.64 degrees from the equator, sending it fairly far up north and far down south. This gives astronauts onboard a ringside view of the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis, which appear as green shimmering curtains of light.
And the stars! Of course they are the same stars we can see here on Earth (or would be able to see if we lived in the right locations) but there’s no comparison to the view you can get from up there. Wow!
At 17,500 miles per hour, there’s a sunrise every 90 minutes. Even though the video is primarily of images taken at night, it does a wonderful job of capturing the regular cycle of night and day.
Knate has some other time-lapse videos of the night sky, taken from this side of Earth that are really worth checking out as well.