Breathtaking Time-Lapse Video Shows Earth from International Space Station

If life on Earth is getting you down, maybe it's time to take a moment to think about the bigger picture — like the view of our planet from the International Space Station.

Astronaut Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency shared incredible video footage from just that viewpoint on Twitter Sunday (July 15).

The video, which is sped up by a factor of 12.5, shows Gerst's view as the station passes over the U.S. and Africa. In the footage, the space station passes over about 8,700 miles (14,000 kilometers).

Gerst is one of six astronauts currently aboard the space station, where he is joined by three U.S. astronauts and two Russian cosmonauts. The crew has been together for nearly a month and a half now. Shortly after posting the timelapse, Gerst and his colleague, U.S. astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, prompted release of the Cygnus capsule that had been resupplying the space station.

This is Gerst's second visit to the space station, where he has been spending much of his time working on experiments dealing with topics like time perception and cancer research.

Gerst will stay at the space station until December and has been enthusiastically sharing his experience on social media — so there will probably be more stunning videos to come.

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Meghan Bartels
Senior Writer

Meghan is a senior writer at and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.