Now, Anyone On Earth Can See A View Of Our Planet From Space In Real Time

Iss earth at night from spaceNASANorth Korea (the dark area) and South Korea at night.

There’s nothing as profound as seeing Earth from space.

Yet, only the 543 people who have trained as astronauts ever get to experience the Earth in a way that boggles the human mind — called the overview effect — until now.

But now, thanks to the High Definition Earth Viewing experiment, anyone with access to a computer and internet can watch Earth float in space from the perspective of the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

The HDEV experiment was activated on April 30 of this year, and so far over 32 million people have experienced the Earth in a way unlike any other — at a height of 268 miles above the surface.

Several commercial HD video cameras are attached to the European Space Agency’s Columbus module aboard the ISS. Each camera is pointed at Earth, and live records and streams what they see.

The live stream cycles through the different cameras on board. When that happens, the live stream cuts out for a few seconds, but the fresh, new view you get is completely worth the few seconds it takes for the switch.

As gorgeous as it is, this experiment has a purpose besides awing people on Earth: Each camera is protected inside a pressurised, temperature-controlled case. The experiment aims to test the effects of space on this equipment and the video quality it produces.

High school students helped design some of the components of the experiment through the High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware program.

Enjoy the view below:


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