As part of the 20th anniversary of the International Space Station, the European Space Agency (ESA) has recently released a stunning video clip from an orbital research center.
Together with German astronaut Alexander Gersh and the soundtrack of music actor Matt Piper in Los Angeles, the video contains more than 21,000 images captured from the space station in October as they traveled above Earth at an altitude of about 400 km.
This amazing journey begins high above Tunisia before going to Beijing and further to Australia. You can track the exact location of the space station using the embedded world map in the upper right corner of the screen. There are also labels that tell us about the different cities and countries we pass.
Particularly beautiful are moments when the day changes to night and night. There is still a lot of astonishment during the night's journey, with large cities lurking in the dark, and random flashes of light reveal numerous storms far below.
As we pass through New Zealand, the sun radiates above the horizon and offers an eclipse-like effect, as the light of the new day gradually fills the frame.
The space station is moving at a speed of 28,800 km (17,895 mph), and it takes only 90 minutes to form a complete Earth circuit in a stress-free lab. Gerst's time span accelerates the path by 12.5 times and gives us two complete circuits in 15 minutes.
Learn about the different parts of the space station that appear in the frame? On the left there are some of the solar panels that help keep the station powered, while on the right we see the Japanese spacecraft HTV-7, which was stationed on the space station on September 27, 2018 and will remain until November 7, 2018. The white panels visible in the upper the portions to the left of 5:30 am are space station radiators that use ammonia to exchange heat and keep equipment and aerospace indoors at the right temperature.
"Since the first space module of Zarya was launched from the Baikonur spaceport on November 20, 1998, the International Space Station brought a whole new perspective on this planet we call home," ESA said on its website. As for Gersta, he expressed his thoughts in a recent tweet:
Congratulations to people for 20 years to overcome differences, share visions, and create the most precious, the most complex and improbable machine ever built by people-for the benefit of all. Let it be the basis for a bright future! https://t.co/7XnBTuwssQ
– Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) 20 November 2018