The earth is a truly spectacular place. Michael König compiled this video from footage taken by Expedition XXVIII & IXX aboard the International Space Station from August to October 2011. The footage is courtesy of NASA Johnson Space Center Image Science & Analysis Laboratory’s Gateway to Astronaut Photography.
König’s compilation includes a number of views of Aurora Borealis & Aurora Australis. One would be quite cosmically fortunate to witness something so spectacular from earth let alone witness it from space- repetitively. Expeditions are long duration missions flown by the Russian Federal Space Agency usually lasting about four months in orbit. These sights, shown above, occur more often than most enough will ever have the opportunity to enjoy (unless you live in the arctic circle).
I tried to calculate how many times one would be able to possibly witness these sights from the International Space Station, but calculus has been long been lost in the dusty archives of my brain. I did however figure that those on board see eighteen sunsets and eighteen sunrises every twenty-four hours. Give or take a couple, an Expedition crew member could witness 2,162 sunsets during a mission. I can’t even begin to fathom what it would feel like to wake up in the morning, look out the window and see the sunset or the green hues of an Aurora Borealis dance across the horizon. Let’s only hope that the crew isn’t jaded by the end of it.