July 24, 2012
Time-Lapse Video Captures Beauty On Earth And In The Sky
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
There is a sensation that I may never be able to experience in my life, but one video showing off images taken from the International Space Station (ISS) gets me just a little closer to being in space.
The video starts with a simple view of our rotating planet through the looking glass on the space station, and then immediately kicks off the rest of the video with brilliant colors and views of Earth as the laboratory hustles through night and day in a matter of a few hours.
The video reminded me of what Richard Garriott, a tourist who rode aboard the International Space Station and created the documentary "Man on a Mission," told redOrbit in an interview: the earth is completely inhabited.
“And only after many many more orbits, the next big epiphany for me was that every part of the Earth that you can see from space is fully occupied by people,” Garriott told redOrbit. “It was really shocking how completely occupied that the Earth seems to be.”
As the ISS makes its way across Earth, lights from cities are hard not to be seen, making both a picturesque look, as well as a ghastly reminder of light pollution.
The video doesn't just make me envious of what an amazing view the astronauts aboard the ISS get of our planet, but also of the stars. Our night sky is so clouded by city lights, that it drowns out what the video helps captivate so well, which is how beautiful of a view it is to just look up.
A report on redOrbit back in 2009 highlighted a study about how light pollution really does affect what we are unable to see.
According to the study, about 54 percent of 1,829 members of the U.K. public who counted stars on the constellation of Orion said they saw fewer than 10 stars. Researchers estimate that there are about 50 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in a truly dark sky.
On both dates during the study, the moon was not visible in the evening sky, which means the maximum number of stars were potentially visible.
Not only is the Knate Myers video a call to action when trying to reduce light pollution in an effort to get an improved glimpse of the astronauts view from below the atmosphere, but to appreciate how beautiful both sides of the spectrum really is.