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Earth, from Four Astronauts’ Perspectives

Ladies and gentlemen, they are floating in space.
Screencaps by the author, via

As part of its 8-day advent calendar, The Royal Institution, an organization that attempts to connect people with science, released a video in which four astronauts talk about looking at Earth from space. In The View From Space: An Astronaut's Perspective, the narration and music here are as entrancing as the animated timelapse video.

The four seasoned astronauts, Helen Sharman, Daniel Tani, Michael Barratt and Jean-Francois Clervoy talk about various aspects of looking at the Earth from such great heights. The American astronaut Barratt, for instance, recalls his senses becoming overwhelmed by a “dynamic picture show,” while characterizing the scene as “this impossibly blue planet in this impossibly black sky just kind of hanging out there.”


Clervoy, for his part, talks about the speed at which the Earth changes appearance while in orbit. In this clip, an animated space station moves around the Earth as either the aurora borealis or australis flicker high in the atmosphere.

“Even though you’ve seen the Earth through movies, pictures, when you look at the Earth with your own eyes changing very fast at the speed of eight kilometers-per-second, what you see is beautiful,” Clervoy says in the video. “You have tears in your eyes. Even if you are a tough person you can’t avoid becoming a child again. We wish all humankind could experience this view of Earth.”

The View From Space: An Astronaut's Perspective from The Royal Institution on Vimeo.

Click here to see more entries in the Royal Institution’s advent calendar.


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