This Is Probably as Close as You'll Get to Being an Astronaut

NASA recently released these spectacular time-lapse videos of Earth, created from thousands of photographs taken by astronauts on board the International Space Station. We've edited together the highlights, which include soaring over the Mediterranean, North America, the Middle East, and Africa. Keep an eye out for the red and green aurora borealis and australis over the poles, as well as bursts of lighting in the clouds. 

All the videos are courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center, and the music is Chopin's Nocturne No. 2 in E Flat Major, Op. 55, from the public domain music resource Musopen.

For more videos from the International Space Station, visit the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. 

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

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