Flying Over the Earth at Night

Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

Flying Over the Earth at Night
Video Credit: Gateway to Astronaut Photography, NASA ;
Compilation: David Peterson (YouTube);
Music: Freedom Fighters (Two Steps from Hell)

Sequences:

1. North-to-south down the western coast of North and South America.
2. North-to-south over Florida, the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands.
3. South-East Asia, approaching the Philippine Sea
4. Western Europe, from France through Italy, Greece, Turkey and the Middle East.
5. Aurora Australis, over the Indian Ocean, approaching Australia
6. Aurora Australis, over the Indian Ocean.
7. Aurora Australis, unknown location in the Southern Hemisphere.

Explanation: 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.

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