On Christmas day, E.S.A. astronaut Alexander Gerst posted on the internets an astonishing 6-minute long time-lapse video of Earth and outer space compiled from about 12,500 photos he had taken while working aboard of International Space Station (I.S.S.).
Mr. Gerst started the European Space Agency’s (E.S.A.) Blue Dot Mission on I.S.S. in late May and ended it 166 days later. On November 10, he and two of his colleagues –Maxim Suraev, Russian cosmonaut, and Gregory Reid Wiseman, NASA astronaut – safely landed in the steppes of Kazakhstan.
Alexander Gerst was the sixth European astronaut to take part in a long-term mission in space and the third German to set foot on the International Space Station. During the six-month long mission he served as a flight engineer.
While doing his work on I.S.S. he also used a dedicated camera to take high resolution photos while the space station was orbiting Earth at about 17,600 miles per hour. He also used an intervalometer to take snapshots of Earth at set intervals. The images have a very high-quality, while the time-lapse video can be set to a 4k resolution (if there’s a proper graphics card installed on your device, of course).
The video show stunning images of Earth at nigh, at dawn, huge storms above oceans, breath-taking auroras, lightning, cities lit at night, clusters of stars, and even the Milky Way (seen at 3:15). The background music used is also very well chosen and inspiring.
The 6 minute time-lapse video was posted on YouTube and you can watch it here:
After getting back to Earth, Mr. Gerst said that seen from a distance our planet was just a “blue dot” and “a fragile spaceship for humankind.” He also said that we needed to understand the Universe we lived in to learn how to protect our home.
Alexander Gerst’s mission on I.S.S. was also called Blue Dot after the U.S. astrophysicist Carl Sagan described our planet as seen in a Voyager photo taken billions of kilometers away as a “pale blue dot.”
Mr Gerst’s fields of expertise are geophysics and volcanology. E.S.A. has especially chosen him for the mission due to his scientific background. While working on the Blue Dot mission he had to perform several scientific experiments in biology, physics, human physiology, technology and radiation research. E.S.A. said that all these experiments were meant to improve the quality of life on Earth as well as preparing further space exploration missions.
Image Source: Love These Pics
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