Unless you’re Sir Richard Branson with your own space travel company, or a multimillionaire who can afford to buy a ride in a Russian spacecraft, or a NASA astronaut in training, the chances you’ll get a literally out-of-this-world view of Earth are slim to none.
Thank goodness for high-definition video.
Footage from NASA is giving everyday people a view of Earth typically seen only by astronauts. The extraordinary nighttime view is provided by cameras aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
With white dots marking the bustling cityscapes and streets and human lives of the land below, it’s amazing what detail can be seen from 200 miles above. Cities like Dallas glow bright white at night. Deserts can be iridescent. Auroras are often lime-green.
In a video on YouTube posted by a user called SpaceRip, NASA scientist Justin Wilkinson narrates the view from around the world. This video, already viewed more than 50,000 times, “takes you along “Earth’s luminous nocturnal landscapes… over cities and coastlines in the Americas, the Middle East and Europe,” according to its description on YouTube.