The International Space Station (ISS) orbits the Earth as a functional station for 20 months, and it's time to party as only astronauts can – with a very long timelapse video of the space. ESA has put together a fantastic 15-minute video on Earth from the ISS, but the actual duration displayed is much longer. In fact, it is the longest video timelapse ever made in space.
German astronaut Alexander Gerst captured the video aboard the ISS on October 6th. It contains 21,375 images of the Earth spread over about 90 minutes of real time. Speed 28,800 km / h (17,896 mph) is the time it takes for the station to make a complete orbit of the planet. You probably do not have the time to witness all this, but it's a time frame that prevents you from doing it. In the video below, the footage rotates at 12.5 times the actual speed.
The video begins in North Africa with the station that devalues Central Asia and then East. It's night in these regions, so you can see the glowing lights of civilization as well as lightning from the station. The ISS then crosses the ocean towards Australia and New Zealand. While crossing the Pacific, you can see the sunrise from the station's point of view towards 10 minutes. After that, you have to cross South America, the Atlantic and Europe to finish your world tour. You can use the convenient map located in the corner to follow the ISS as it travels around the world.
The station may be aging, but it is one of Earth's most important scientific achievements. Astronauts undertake research on the ISS that can not happen anywhere else. However, the current US administration is striving to end public funding for ISS over the next decade, by transferring operation and maintenance to private entities. We do not know how it will affect the ISS.
ESA has uploaded the entire video on YouTube in 4K resolution. This is not an 8K video, but it will be fine. If you prefer to avoid losing the video forever, you can download the files from the ESA website. There is a 768×432 resolution version that represents only 125 MB. The complete 4K resolution file is 3.02 GB.
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