Expired News - Blue Dot: Breathtaking timelapse gives orbital view of auroras, sunrises and the splendors of Earth - The Weather Network
Your weather when it really mattersTM


Please choose your default site


Asia - Pacific



This spectacular video, compiled from thousands of images taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, reveals some of the best moments of his Blue Dot mission.

Blue Dot: Breathtaking timelapse gives orbital view of auroras, sunrises and the splendors of Earth

Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist/Science Writer

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 3:45 PM - When German astronaut Alexander Gerst flew up to the International Space Station for six months, his Twitter feed became one of the go-to places on the internet to find incredible images of Earth from orbit. However, as it turns out, what we saw on social media was just scratching the surface of what he had done for us.

Gerst's long-duration stay on the ISS had a special name to it - Blue Dot. Named after Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot speech, the mission was to perform all the duties required of being a member of Expeditions 40 and 41 on the station - conducting science experiments, going on a spacewalk, docking cargo vessels, and speaking to students on Earth - but there was another aspect he carried out at the same time. Setting up a camera on the station, pointed down towards the Earth, he took thousands of pictures over the six months he was in low-Earth orbit. We were treated to some of those via social media (@Astro_Alex), but the ESA strung together 12,500 of them to create a new high-definition time-lapse video.

As with Twitter, the video above is just a sample of the whole. Below is the full, glorious, six-minute-long version. Enjoy!

(For best viewing, once the video starts, increase the resolution up to as high as your video card can handle - from the little settings 'cog' along the bottom right of the video player - and then switch to full-screen mode.)

DON'T MISS: The Weather Network's definitive guide to the best of what's happening in space in 2015

Default saved

Search Location


Sign In

Please sign in to use this feature.