An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube by European Space Agency, ESA
A German astronaut has captured stunning images of polar auroras as he orbited Earth on the International Space Station. Alexander Gerst’s images led to the creation of the Ultra-HD – or ‘4K’ time lapse video, running at 25 frames per second.
The photographs were taken at a resolution of 4,256 x 2,832 pixels and depict Gerst’s orbit around the Earth alongside his fellow ISS Space Station expedition 40 crewmembers.
His journey shows the rippling greenish lights characteristic of the electrically-charged sun particle collisions, bright city lights in the nighttime, the different hues of the Earth’s atmosphere and a satellite launch.
“The artistic effects of the light trails from stars and cities at night are created by superimposing the individual images and fading them out slowly,” the European Space Agency wrote in a release with the video.
The Ultra-High-Definition video – the best video quality possible to date – comes with the instruction: “Be sure to change the settings in YouTube if your computer or television can handle it for the full effect.”
Gerst is spending some five and a half months on the ISS. He arrived in May on a Soyuz spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The mission is dubbed “Blue Dot” after the way the Earth looked in a photo captured by NASA’s Voyager spacecraft.
ISS trio back on Earth: Soyuz successfully lands in Kazakhstan
Russian space agency rescue team members talk to Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov shortly after the Russian Soyuz TMA-12M space capsule landed southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, September 11, 2014. (Reuters / Maxim Shipenkov)
The Russian-piloted spaceship Soyuz TMA-12M has successfully brought back the ISS crew of Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artyomyev and NASA astronaut Steven Swanson following a six-month stay on the orbital outpost.
“The capsule landed in the planned landing area, about 148 km south-east of the Kazakh town of Dzhezkazgan,” the Russian Flight Control Center reported.
The entrance into the Earth’s atmosphere over Kazakhstan occurred at about 01:30 GMT, on an altitude of about 350 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, when the spaceship’s engines began the braking.
Swanson, who commanded 40th expedition, turned over leadership of Soyuz capsule to cosmonaut Maxim Suraev prior to departure.
“We’ve accomplished a lot, we’ve had a lot of fun,” said Swanson. “We did lots of cargo. We did lots of science. We actually set the record for number of hours of science in a week.”
“I promise that me personally and our crew, we’re going to do our best to continue this great work, what (you) guys did and we together did already,” said Suraev.
Russian cosmonaut Maksim Surayev, US astronaut Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst will continue their work at International Space Station (ISS) until the arrival of three new crew members.
Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova, as well as NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore, are scheduled to launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on September 26.