Day 117: As the World Turns

Sometimes, when you’re running from one thing to the next and checking off to-do items only to make room for more, it’s nice to sit back, relax and watch the world turn.

From outer space.

Thank goodness for the International Space Station. Yesterday, I touted Chris Hadfield’s photos from the ISS; today, a couple of my co-workers clued me into some amazing (incredible!) ISS videography.

It looks like the stuff of Hollywood special effects, but it’s real footage of the ISS gliding smoothly around the Earth.

This first one is even in real time. It’s a night flight from January 30, 2012, running from northern Mexico to northwest New Brunswick. I can spot my city. Can you spot yours?

And this one is a soothing five-minute time-lapse of multiple different passes. The Northern Lights, bright electric flashes of thunderstorms, deserts, cityscapes, shooting stars (if you can peel your eyes away from Earth for long enough), sweeping masses of clouds, islands, fires, mountains, airports… it’s gorgeous, soothing and might choke you up a little bit.