From high above the Earth, the International Space Station provides a unique vantage point to view our home planet
This image represents one of hundreds used to compile NASA’s latest time-lapse photography video: “Earth Illuminated.” Photographs taken from the International Space Station (ISS) provide stunning views of the Earth, rivaling those imagined by historical astronomer Galileo, including city lights, aurora, lightning, comets, and other sights. Since last August, scientists in Crew Earth Observations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston have been piecing together images taken from the ISS to create time-lapse videos and a whole new vantage point through which to view the planet. Crew Earth Observations monitors about 300 sites around the world, and directs astronauts on board the ISS to take photos of those sites as the station passes by at more than 17,000 miles per hour. Each crew aboard the ISS takes tens of thousands of photos during their time in orbit, 500 of which are used, on average, to create each time-lapse video.