Since 2000, the International Space Station has been a home away from home to over 200 astronauts and extremely fortunate tourists from all over the world. No other spacecraft has been continually occupied by humans longer than the ISS. It serves as a laboratory to perform experiments that would be impossible to do under the pull of gravity from Earth’s surface, placing an incredible amount of importance on those selected to go into space. It also has a hell of a view.
In order to to keep its orbit at a relatively low altitude, the ISS maintains a speed of about 27,600 km/h (17,150 mph). This allows the crew to completely orbit the Earth in just over 90 minutes, completing over 15 every day. This gives them the ability to see our planet from a very unique perspective. In an hour and a half, the astronauts can observe every desert, every ocean, and every mountain. But what does it look like in the dark?
At night, the light from below can be seen very clearly. Large cities, huge storms, and aurorae illuminate the surface of the planet. Words can’t even do the view justice, so check out this amazing time-lapse video and see for yourself: