Even though we have seen dozens of photographs of the Earth taken from space, there is always something bewildering when we come across new images. To see the world as one sphere in space is a reminder that while we may be absorbed by our territories, borders and cultural differences, we really are one humanity sharing this vast life nurturing planet. It would be easy to see each individual life contextually insignificant from such a vantage point, but it is just as awesome to realize how special each one of us really is with our individual and unique experiences, with and through the world. This video is a reminder of how we must constantly be looking at our lives through new and fresh perspectives.
It also allows us to acknowledge our extraordinary planet, and appreciate and cherish what we have. The International Space Station or the ISS orbiting the globe gives us first class seat views of the earth in this timelapse video.
The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth website elaborates on how astronauts are trained to be competent photographers and videographers, documenting their voyages for the rest of the world to see.
“Astronauts have used hand-held cameras to photograph the Earth for more than 40 years, beginning with the Mercury missions in the early 1960’s. Crew members in space have taken nearly 750,000 photographs with Hasselblad, Linhof, Rolleiflex, and Nikon hand-held film cameras. Beginning in 1995, digital cameras were introduced on Shuttle missions. Today on the International Space Station all Crew Earth Observations (CEO) imagery is taken with a digital camera (see Munich International Airport, Germany for resolution information). The majority of these photographs are Earth-looking views. The remaining images show satellite deployments and activities outside the space craft (EVA’s–extra-vehicular activities).
Astronauts are trained in scientific observation of ecological, geological, geographic, oceanographic, environmental, and meteorological phenomena. They are also instructed in the use of photographic equipment and techniques. Preflight training helps the astronauts make informed decisions on which areas and phenomena to photograph. Specific areas of interest are selected by scientists before each six-month flight.”
Many thanks to all the astronauts onboard the International Space Station for sharing their videos and images of the world.