Stunning video shows what astronauts see orbiting Earth at night

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Dec 17, 2012

Over the past year, astronauts have been snapping shots of the Earth from the window of the International Space Station (ISS). The result? This stunning time-lapse video showing our beautiful planet as only a few get to see it.

NASA chief geoscientist Justin Wilkinson talked to Slate about the video and explained just how different the Earth actually looks from space:

"It looks so different from a map. You have no idea where you are. You have to slowly learn that. You start to learn your geography by how you rotate around the planet."
Wilkinson said he started the time-lapse project to show the world what most of us we'll never get to see, and to try and return a bit of that sense of awe we seem to have lost for space travel:
"[You] start to see the planet for the little alive ball it is, floating in space a long way from another planet. We may get to respect it a little more and be more careful with it."
Long-term, Wilkinson said the technique could also be used to map out Mars on a future mission.

But, for now, just look at the Earth as we've never seen it before:

(Via Slate)