Night flight from orbit: incredible video from the ISS

HANDS up those of you who wanted to be an astronaut, or who still do.

Yep, me too. While we wait for our respective national space agencies to finally identify us as the people they really need to send on a space mission, we’ll have to content ourselves with the views beamed back from those lucky so-and-so’s who are already up there.

Few can be as enigmatic as this video, a series of time-lapse sequences taken looking down on night-time Earth from the International Space Station swooping overhead. This video was yesterday’s Astronomy Picture of the Day, and is one of the best daily selections I’ve seen in ages. If you can spare the bandwidth, click here for the APoD page to see the thing in high definition. It’s just magical.

One point to note is that the use of a wide-angle camera makes it appear that the ISS is in a much higher orbit than it really is. I’d be interested to see a similar view without the distortion, so that it looks more like it would to the human eye. Nasa, are you listening?

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