The Sciences

Incredible time lapse: Milky Way over Africa

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitJan 18, 2012 9:59 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

This video is only 20 seconds long, but wow. Simply, wow. [Note: I've noticed sometimes the video won't load and you get a black space. Try hitting refresh, or just click the link in the next sentence.] This was created using a series of still images from the International Space Station on December 29, 2011, over the course of about 20 minutes. The ISS was orbiting over Africa at the time, as it passed from the center of the continent to Madagascar and then over the ocean. The flashes of light are from storms on our planet's surface.

In the sky, though, the Milky Way steals the scene as it rises over the eastern horizon. Toward the end of the video, what I thought for a moment was a reflection of the Milky Way on the glass of the ISS turns out to actually be Comet Lovejoy, which was still visible at the time. You can also see the thin green arc of airglow over the Earth before the rising Sun ends the video. If it weren't copyrighted, I would've added Enya's "Storms in Africa" track to this. It seems appropriate. ... and if there's a metaphor here for overcoming adversity -- whatever that may mean to you -- well then, feel free to ruminate over it. Credit: NASA

Related posts: - JAW DROPPING Space Station time lapse! - Time lapse: The spectacle of Comet Lovejoy - INSANELY cool picture of Comet Lovejoy - Time lapse video: ISS cometrise - JAW DROPPING Space Station time lapse!

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.