This must-see video condenses the International Space Station’s night flight over Earth into 60 seconds, courtesy of science educator James Drake. He downloaded a series of 600 pictures from the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth — a voluminous archive of a half-century’s worth of imagery from the space station and NASA’s manned spacecraft. Then he assembled them into the clip you see here using VirtualDub software.
The flight to the sunrise begins over the Pacific Ocean and zooms at an altitude of about 220 miles (350 kilometres) past Vancouver Island and Victoria, the Pacific Northwest and the American Southwest, Texas and Mexico, Central and South America. The highlights to watch for include constellations of city lights, lightning flashes in the clouds, the stars whirling in the night sky above, the faint brown-yellow atmospheric airglow that rims the eastern horizon, and the glorious dawn at the end.