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(NASA Crew Earth Observations)


















"We catch a glimpse of a huge swirl of clouds out the window over the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or the boot of Italy jutting down into the Mediterranean, or the brilliant blue coral reefs of the Caribbean strutting their beauty before the stars. And...we experienced those uniquely human qualities: awe, curiosity, wonder, joy, amazement." (Russell L. Schweickart, Apollo Astronaut ("The Home Planet")






Photographing the Earth from the International Space Station

Crew Earth Observations Videos - Africa and Arabian Peninsula

The following videos have been created by the Crew Earth Observations team at Johnson Space Center from a series of still images taken onboard the International Space Station. Newly added videos occur toward the top of the page.

Please see our terms of use for these time lapse sequences and astronaut photography for more information on use and distribution of these .mov files.

PLEASE NOTE: Some of these sequences of frames were taken at the rate of one frame per second, therefore the slower speed of the video represents a closer resemblance to the true speed of the International Space Station than previous videos. These videos will be identified with a * in the title.

Title Video links

From Night to Day to Night Again

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 34 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken on January 3, 2013 from 11:43:46 to 15:49:31 GMT, on a pass from northwestern Australia, making two complete orbits to eastern Quebec, near the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This fast-paced video features the ISS completing two and a half orbits around the Earth, crossing the terminator line several times in the process. The video begins as the ISS is in darkness, and as the moon rises on the left side of the video, the ISS begins to pass over into daylight. Clouds mostly obscure the view during this first daylight pass with the exception of the Caucasus and Elburz Mountains just before the terminator. The ISS slips back into night as the moon again rises in the left side of the video. As the Station flies back into daylight, the ISS flies over Central America, the Caribbean Sea, and Cuba and Florida before flying over the northern Atlantic Ocean. Most of Western Europe is under cloud, and the first land that can be seen is the Alps Mountains and Croatia. The ISS then passes over the terminator line again into darkness as the moon rises in the left side of the video. As the ISS passes back over into daylight, clouds obscure most of the Earth until near the end of the video, when it passes over the Baja Peninsula and the southwestern United States.

Compiled from frames ISS034-E-16709 to ISS034-E-18545

Date posted: 2013/01/23

From Night to Day to Night Again
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Western Africa to Japan

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 34 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken on January 4, 2013 from 05:23:00 to 05:56:16 GMT, on a pass from the border of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo to just east of Japan. This video begins as the ISS travels northeast over central Africa just after sunrise. As the ISS flies over northeastern Africa, the Nile River can be seen in a zigzag pattern across the rust-colored desert. The ISS then crosses over the Red Sea before flying over the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East region. The video ends as the ISS travels northeast over the snow-covered areas of western Russia and China.


NEW- Click here for an annotated version of this video, which explains the geography throughout the time-lapse video.

Compiled from frames ISS034-E-15609 to ISS034-E-16607

Date posted: 2013/01/23
Western Africa to Japan
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Over the Strait of Gibraltar and Africa

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 34 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken on January 5, 2013 from 15:54:21 to 16:21:17 GMT, on a pass from the north Atlantic Ocean, west of the Iberian Peninsula, to the southern Indian Ocean, southeast of Madagascar. This video begins looking southeast toward the Iberian Peninsula. As the ISS continues southeast toward Africa, the Strait of Gibraltar can be seen separating the Iberian Peninsula and the clay-colored northern Africa. The pass then continues over the Sahara Desert in northern Africa, as the terminator line slowly appears from the left side of the video. Cloud shadows, known as crepuscular rays, are seen on the daylight side of the terminator. The video ends as the ISS travels into darkness.


NEW- Click here for an annotated version of this video, which explains the geography throughout the time-lapse video.

Compiled from frames ISS034-E-20414 to ISS034-E-21222

Date posted: 2013/01/23
Over the Strait of Gibraltar and Africa
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A Jump over the Terminator

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 34 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken on January 5, 2013 from 12:53:14 to 13:19:54 GMT, on a pass from western Iran, near the border of Iraq, to the Southern Ocean, just south of Western Australia. This video begins looking southeast over the Persian Gulf, with the Arabian Peninsula on the right and Iran to the left. As the pass continues down the Persian Gulf, the city of Dubai is near nadir on a small peninsula jetting out into the gulf. The ISS then flies over the Indian Ocean, with the terminator line slowly approaching from the left of the video.


NEW- Click here for an annotated version of this video, which explains the geography throughout the time-lapse video.

Compiled from frames ISS034-E-19613 to ISS034-E-20413

Date posted: 2013/01/23
A Jump over the Terminator
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Lightning Storms from Uganda to Zanzibar Island

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken on February 18, 2012 from 00:08:25 to 00:11:31 GMT, on a pass from northern Uganda to Zanzibar Island, off the coast of eastern Africa. This night video features the ISS flying over central Africa while there are lightning storms. The quick bursts of light represent lightning in the clouds.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-104579 to ISS030-E-104672

Date posted: 2012/10/29
High Definition video of Lightning Storms from Uganda to Zanzibar Island
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From Western Europe to Western Africa*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from May 22, 2012 from 11:06:04 to 11:16:05 GMT, on a pass the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Portugal, to northern Cameroon. This video begins as the ISS is flying over the North Atlantic Ocean, looking east towards the Iberian Peninsula and the Strait of Gibraltar. As the ISS continues southeast towards Africa, the rust-colored sand dunes of the Sahara are seen as a solar panel is seen at the top of the screen. The pass ends as the ISS travels over the separating line between desert and tropical area.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-61101 to ISS031-E-61702

Date posted: 2012/08/29
High Definition video of From Western Europe to Western Africa
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From North Africa to East Africa*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from May 19, 2012 from 10:39:23 to 10:53:05 GMT, on a pass from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Arabian Sea, just east of southern Somalia. This video features a unique viewing angle as the camera is pointing near nadir at the Earth as the ISS is flying over Africa. The ISS flies over the Sahara Desert, where the sand dunes and some agricultural patterns are seen, before flying over the Nile River. As the ISS continues southeast, the distinct separating line between the desert region and more tropical region of Africa are seen as the landscape changes from a rust color to more lush green. The pass ends as the ISS passes over the coastline of eastern Africa and the Arabian Sea.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-59810 to ISS031-E-60467

Date posted: 2012/08/29
High Definition video of From North Africa to East Africa
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From Egypt to Arabian Sea*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from May 19, 2012 from 10:44:20 to 10:54:57 GMT, on a pass from western Egypt to east of Tanzania. This video begins looking back downtrack towards the Soyuz and the Sahara Desert, with the Mediterranean Sea in the far back. As the ISS continues southeast over northern Africa, the clear line between the dry Sahara sands and the more tropical region of central Africa stands out. The video ends over the Indian Ocean.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-58173 to ISS031-E-58783

Date posted: 2012/08/29
High Definition video of From Egypt to Arabian Sea
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Western Europe and Arabian Peninsula at Dawn*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from May 27, 2012 from 06:32:41 to 06:49:19 GMT, on a pass from the Celtic Sea, south of Ireland, to northeastern Ethiopia. This video begins looking southeast over France and Germany in Western Europe as the ISS passes southeast towards the Alps Mountains and the Italian Peninsula and the Adriatic Sea, then further southeast over the Balkan Peninsula. The pass continues over the Mediterranean Sea and over the Arabian Peninsula, and ends looking out over the Arabian Sea.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-93461 to ISS031-E-94459

Date posted: 2012/07/20
High Definition video of Western Europe and Arabian Peninsula at Dawn
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From Turkey to Iran*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from May 23, 2012 from 07:06:33 to 07:10:21 GMT, on a pass from northern Turkey, near the Black Sea, to southwestern Iran. This video begins looking southeast over southern Turkey as the ISS passes over the southern Black Sea and Lake Van. The pass continues over Lake Van, with the Caspian Sea covered by cloud on the right side of the video and heavy dust over the left side of the video. The video ends looking over the Persian Gulf and the Zagros Mountains.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-81074 to ISS031-E-81302

Date posted: 2012/07/20
High Definition video of From Turkey to Iran
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From Tyrrhenian Sea to Libya*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken May 13, 2012 from 14:26:58 to 14:43:30 GMT, on a pass from the Tyrrhenian Sea, east of Spain, to central Libya. This short video begins looking east over the Mediterranean Sea at northern Africa and Sardinia and Corsica. As the ISS travels southeast, the clay color of the Libyan Desert contrasts the blue of the Mediterranean Sea before the pass ends overlooking the sand dunes of the desert.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-43350 to ISS031-E-43589

Date posted: 2012/07/09
High Definition video of From Tyrrhenian Sea to Libya
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From Western to Eastern Africa*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken May 13, 2012 from 14:26:58 to 14:43:30 GMT, on a pass from northern Algeria to the Mozambique Channel. This video begins looking east over northwestern Africa and southern Spain, over the Mediterranean Sea. As the ISS travels southeast, the Sahara Desert is seen before the ISS travels over the transition of desert to vegetation. Clouds obstruct the view until the video ends looking over the terminator line, separating the daytime light from nighttime darkness.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-46901 to ISS031-E-47893

Date posted: 2012/07/09
High Definition video of From Western to Eastern Africa
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From Ireland to Somalia*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken May 14, 2012 from 11:52:53 to 12:09:28 GMT, on a pass from the Celtic Sea, south of Ireland, to northern Somalia. This video begins by looking southeast to northwestern Europe. As the ISS travels southeast over France, Germany, and other Western European countries, the Alps Mountains can be seen with snow cover on them. Continuing southeast over the Mediterranean Sea, the Nile River delta can be seen before traveling over the Arabian Peninsula. The pass ends over the southern Arabian Peninsula, looking over the Arabian Sea.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-42296 to ISS031-E-43291

Date posted: 2012/07/09
High Definition video of From Ireland to Somalia
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From Atlantic Ocean to Kazakhstan*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken May 14, 2012 from 21:12:29 to 21:21:35 GMT, on a pass from the South Atlantic Ocean, south of Liberia, to northern Kazakhstan. This video shows the view out of all the windows in the Cupola, and begins by looking over the Atlantic Ocean. The ISS travels east towards Africa, with the clay-colored sands of the Sahara Desert. As the ISS crosses over Africa and then over the Mediterranean Sea, the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula stands out before traveling over Eastern Europe.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-25235 to ISS031-E-26560

Date posted: 2012/06/14
High Definition video of From Atlantic Ocean to Kazakhstan
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Western Europe to Sudan*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken April 13, 2012 from 01:17:16 to 01:32:02 GMT, on a pass from the North Atlantic Ocean, just west of the Celtic Sea, to eastern Sudan. This video begins looking ENE towards Ireland and the United Kingdom, along with the Aurora Borealis to the far north. As the pass continues southeast over Western Europe, the cities of Paris, London, and Rotterdam can be easily seen as bright city lights. The ISS then travels passed the Italian Peninsula under heavy cloud, making the larger cities of Rome and Naples blurry. The video ends over northern Africa, looking east towards the brightly-lit Nile River Delta.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-247968 to ISS030-E-248813

Date posted: 2012/05/30
High Definition video of Western Europe to Sudan
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European City Lights*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken April 14, 2012 from 00:22:19 to 00:38:34 GMT, on a pass from the Celtic Sea, just south of Ireland, to eastern Ethiopia. This video begins looking ENE over Ireland and the United Kingdom, with the Aurora Borealis faintly shining to the north. Continuing southeast over the English Channel, the bright lights of Paris and other cities can be seen. The pass continues over the eastern half of the Italian Peninsula and overlooks the Balkan Peninsula under heavy cloud before traversing over the dark Mediterranean Sea. The pass ends as the ISS continues southeast over the Red Sea, where the bright lights of Jeddah stand out.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-255727 to ISS030-E-256712

Date posted: 2012/05/30
High Definition video of European City Lights
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Libya to Turkey at Night

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken March 27, 2012 from 22:47:49 to 22:52:31 GMT, on a pass from southeastern Libya to southern Turkey. This video begins looking northeast at the Nile River Delta in northeast Africa. As the pass continues northeast, the island of Cyprus and the cities hugging the eastern Mediterranean coast are seen. The southern end of the Black Sea, along with Turkey and Georgia, can be seen as the video ends.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-194364 to ISS030-E-164646

Date posted: 2012/05/16
High Definition video of Libya to Turkey at Night
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Over Spain at Night

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken March 28, 2012 from 01:52:24 to 01:59:22 GMT, on a pass from the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Western Sahara, to northeastern Spain, near the Pyrenees. This video begins over the dark Atlantic Ocean, looking northeast at the Canary Islands. The pass continues northeast near the Strait of Gibraltar and the Iberian Peninsula, where Madrid stands out brightly in the middle of the peninsula. The video ends looking over southern France and the Balearic Islands.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-192014 to ISS030-E-192223

Date posted: 2012/04/27
High Definition video of Over Spain at Night
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Western Quebec to Southern Ocean*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken March 25, 2012 from 11:04:11 to 11:45:06 GMT, on a pass from western Quebec to the Southern Ocean, near the Kerguelen Islands. This video begins over Quebec, where most of the ground is still covered in snow. The ISS travels southeast over the Atlantic Ocean, before reaching the Canary Islands and the clay-colored desert of northwestern Africa. The pass continues southeast over the Gulf of Guinea and south-central Africa, which is heavily covered by clouds. The pass ends over the Southern Ocean.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-179736 to ISS030-E-182110

Date posted: 2012/04/27
High Definition video of Western Quebec to Southern Ocean
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City Lights from Central Africa to Middle East

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from March 19, 2012 at 23:56:53 to March 20, 2012 at 00:08:59 GMT, on a pass from the United Republic of Tanzania to northwest Afghanistan, near the border of Iran. This video begins over central Africa as the ISS travels northeast towards the Arabian Peninsula. The city of Jeddah is seen against the dark Red Sea, and as the ISS travels over the Arabian Peninsula, the cities of Doha, Al Manamah, and Dubai are very bright again the peninsula and the Persian Gulf. The pass ends over the Middle Eastern countries of Iran and Afghanistan.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-167130 to ISS030-E-167493

Date posted: 2012/04/27
High Definition video of City Lights from Central Africa to Middle East
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From the Atlantic Ocean to the Southern Ocean*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken March 31, 2012 from 08:44:05 to 09:11:27 GMT, on a pass from the Atlantic Ocean, west of Morocco, to the Southern Ocean, northwest of the Kerguelen Islands. This video, which looks out of the entire Cupola window, displays the sphere of the Earth. The video begins over the vibrant, blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean before flying over the clay-colored sands of northern Africa. The ISS continues southeast over northwestern Africa, crosses over the Gulf of Guinea, and continues southeast over central Africa. A very clear view of the Okavango Delta (click here for more information on this famous delta) appears over south-central Africa before the ISS travels over the southern Indian Ocean and to the Southern Ocean.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-197401 to ISS030-E-199023

Date posted: 2012/04/27
High Definition video of Algeria to Bulgaria at Night
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Algeria to Bulgaria at Night*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken March 28, 2012 from 00:23:04 to 00:27:08 GMT, on a pass from northeast Algeria, near the border of Tunisia, to western Bulgaria, near Sofia. This video begins as the International Space Station travels northeast over north-central Africa. The ISS flies over Tunisia before continuing over Sicily and the Boot of Italy. The pass ends as the ISS flies over the northern Balkan Peninsula.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-194760 to ISS030-E-195004

Date posted: 2012/04/27
High Definition video of Algeria to Bulgaria at Night
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City Lights over Middle East

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken March 23, 2012 from 00:21:00 to 00:29:28 GMT, on a pass from northwest Sudan to the Caspian Sea. This video begins as the ISS is traveling northeast over northern Africa at night, approaching the Nile River Delta region, which is brightly lit, and Cairo at the far north end of the delta as a brighter light. As the ISS passes the Nile River, the video shows the area at the northwestern end of the Arabian Peninsula, where the bright cities of Beirut and Tel Aviv stand out along the darker water of the Mediterranean Sea. Continuing passed these cities, we can see Baghdad on the far right side of the video.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-171587 to ISS030-E-171841

Date posted: 2012/04/23
High Definition video of City Lights over Middle East
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Western Africa to Croatia at Night*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken February 4, 2012 from 21:39:49 to 21:46:32 GMT, on a pass from western Algeria to southeastern Croatia along the Adriatic Sea. This video begins looking north from northwestern Africa towards the Strait of Gibraltar and the Iberian Peninsula. In the middle of the Iberian Peninsula, Madrid, the capital and largest city of Spain, stands out brightly. As the pass continues northeast over the Mediterranean Sea, the coastline of France along with the Balearic Islands is seen. As the ISS continues to travel northeast, the northern half of Italy is seen under clouds before the pass ends over Croatia.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-176331 to ISS030-E-176734

Date posted: 2012/04/23
High Definition video of Western Africa to Croatia at Night
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ISS from Atlantic Ocean to Ukraine*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken March 10, 2012 from 07:42:00 to 07:59:44 GMT, on a pass from the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Liberia, to central Ukraine, north of the Black Sea. This video begins as the ISS heads over the terminator line, separating night and day on the Earth. As the pass continues over land, there is quite a bit of haze blocking the view of land, until the ISS continues over the clay-colored sands of northern Africa. The pass ends as the ISS is looking back at the Balkan Peninsula under heavy cloud.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-138408 to ISS030-E-139386

Date posted: 2012/04/09
High Definition video of ISS from Atlantic Ocean to Ukraine
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Kenya to the Aurora Australis*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken March 3, 2012 from 17:59:48 to 18:16:25 GMT, on a pass from eastern Kenya, near the Indian Ocean, to the South Indian Ocean, east of the Kerguelen Islands. This video begins as the ISS travels southeast from eastern Africa over the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The first land we see is that of the Mauritius and Reunion Islands east of Madagascar. The pass continues over the Indian Ocean, where there are heavy clouds blocking the view of the water. Finally, the Aurora Australis begins to appear, as well as a faded view of the Milky Way.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-119846 to ISS030-E-120843

Date posted: 2012/03/21
High Definition video of Kenya to the Aurora Australis
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Atlantic Ocean East to New Zealand*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken March 10, 2012 from 07:42:00 to 08:39:50 GMT, on a pass from the Atlantic Ocean, west of Guinea in western Africa, to northern New Zealand. This video was taken as the crew faced the camera back at the Soyuz and down at the Earth, and represents around half of one orbit track. The video begins as the ISS crosses over the terminator line, which is the line separating day and night time. The first bit of land seen is that of northwestern Africa, where we can see the rusty colors of the Sahara Desert, including the dunes in the sand that look like ripples. Continuing northeast, the ISS passes over the southern half of Italy, which is over heavy cloud, and then on to the Balkan Peninsula (also under cloud). There is a brief jump in the video where the crew stopped acquiring imagery for approximately 20 minutes, and then resumed over the Philippine Sea. The video ends as the ISS is traveling southeast to the east of Australia.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-138408 to ISS030-E-140349

Date posted: 2012/03/21
High Definition video of Atlantic Ocean East to New Zealand
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Across the Mediterranean at Night*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken January 24, 2012 from 02:33:37 to 02:39:34 GMT, on a pass from northwestern Africa to the western coast of Italy. This video begins over the northwestern coast of Africa, looking northeast towards the Iberian Peninsula. The ISS continues to travel northeast with the Strait of Gibraltar to the west and the Mediterranean Sea below and to the east. The Canadian robotic arm blocks some of the view of Earth from the Cupola during this video. As the pass continues northeast, the Aurora Borealis can be seen far north from the ISS. The pass ends near Italy, where a few large cities, such as Milan and Rome, can be seen.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-71438 to ISS030-E-71795

Date posted: 2012/02/22
High Definition video of Across the Mediterranean at Night
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Over Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Himalayas

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken January 2, 2012 from 05:37:31 to 06:02:03 GMT, on a pass from southern Africa northeast to northern China. This video begins over southern Africa looking west as the ISS travels northeast up the coast. As the ISS continues northeast over the Indian Ocean, the landscape over Africa changes from green to a clay-colored orange sands of the desert. The pass continues looking over the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula and over the Middle Eastern countries of Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The ISS passes over the snow-covered mountains of the Himalayas and finally over the Tibetan Plateau.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-40326 to ISS030-E-40694

Date posted: 2012/01/27
High Definition video of Over Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Himalayas
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Down the Persian Gulf at Night

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken January 1, 2012 from 16:28:35 to 16:49:55 GMT, on a pass from central Turkey, south of Kayseri, to the Indian Ocean, west of Australia. The video begins looking southeast towards Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Kuwait City sits right of track as a brightly lit city on the coastline of the Arabian Peninsula. Continuing southeast over the Persian Gulf, the capital cities of Manama and Doha can be seen right of track before the ISS approaches Dubai and the Musandam Peninsula. The ISS continues over the Indian Ocean, with India far left of track. The video ends as the ISS continues southeast of the Indian Ocean.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-39624 to ISS030-E-40029

Date posted: 2012/01/27
High Definition video of Down the Persian Gulf
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Western Africa to Northern Kazakhstan

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken December 31, 2011 from 12:22:38 to 12:39:58 GMT, on a pass from northwest Africa, near Western Sahara, to northern Kazakhstan. The pass begins looking back from the ISS along the northwestern coast of Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. As the ISS tracks northeast, the Canary Islands can be seen just off the coast of Western Sahara and Morocco. The pass continues over the Strait of Gibraltar (click here for an Earth Observatory article on the Strait of Gibraltar), eastern Spain, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. As the ISS continues northeast, it passes over the northern half of the Italian Peninsula before continuing over the snow-covered Balkan Peninsula. The pass ends as it continues east-northeast, but much of the ground is covered with snow.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-30364 to ISS030-E-30624

Date posted: 2012/01/20
High Definition video of Western Africa to Northern Kazakhstan
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South Atlantic Ocean to Iran

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken January 3, 2012 from 15:01:30 to 15:08:17 GMT, on a pass from the South Atlantic Ocean to western Iran, just west of the Caspian Sea. The first half of the video is over the Atlantic Ocean, with various cloud patterns seen over the water. As the ISS travels northeast toward the Gulf of Guinea near Africa, the video transitions from the greener parts of central Africa to the clay-colored sands of the desert in northern Africa. The pass continues over the Nile River, which can be distinguished easily from the sand dunes because of its lush green color (click here to read more about the Great Bend of the Nile). The pass ends over western Iran.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-34612 to ISS030-E-34989

Date posted: 2012/01/20
High Definition video of South Atlantic Ocean to Iran
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The Milky Way and Storms over Africa

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken December 29, 2011 from 20:55:05 to 21:14:09 GMT, on a pass from over central Africa, near southeast Niger, to the South Indian Ocean, southeast of Madagascar. The complete pass is over southern Africa to the ocean, focusing on the lightning flashes from local storms and the Milky Way rising over the horizon. The Milky Way can be spotted as a hazy band of white light at the beginning of the video. The pass continues southeast toward the Mozambique Channel and Madagascar. The Lovejoy Comet can be seen very faintly near the Milky Way. The pass ends as the sun is rising over the dark ocean.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-21607 to ISS030-E-21819

Date posted: 2012/01/17
High Definition video of the Milky Way and Storms over Africa
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Mediterranean Sea to Kazakhstan

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken January 02, 2012 from 10:35:30 to 10:46:38 GMT, on a pass from the south Mediterranean Sea, just east of Tunisia, to northern Kazakhstan. This pass begins looking back from the ISS toward Algeria and Tunisia. As the ISS travels northeast toward the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Tunis and the Gulf of Hammamet are seen, as well as an oblique view of Tunisia's capital city, Tunis. The pass continues over Sicily and the southern half of Italy, before continuing to the Balkan Peninsula. The pass ends over the snow-covered country of Kazakhstan.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-28525 to ISS030-E-28692

Date posted: 2012/01/17
High Definition video of the Mediterranean Sea to Kazakhstan
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Africa to Kazakhstan

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken December 30, 2011 from 08:20:04 to 08:46:58 GMT, on a pass from over the South Atlantic Ocean, west of South Africa, to far southern Kazakhstan, near the border of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The pass begins looking back from the ISS over the Atlantic Ocean. Altocumulus clouds are seen before land appears. The first land is that of western Africa, over the Namib Desert. The pass continues over central Africa, which is mostly covered by clouds. Once past the clouds, the ISS passes northeast toward southern Sudan, and finally to the Red Sea. As the ISS crosses the Red Sea, the Dahlak Archipelago is seen with reefs and shoals surrounding the islands. The ISS continues to the Arabian Peninsula, across the northern Persian Gulf, and across the Zagros Mountains in Iran. Finally, the pass ends over Iran toward the southern half of the Caspian Sea and Elburz Mountains.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-20304 to ISS030-E-20679

Date posted: 2012/01/17
High Definition video of Africa to Kazakhstan
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Stars over Switzerland to Saudi Arabia

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken December 22, 2011 from 20:58:50 to 21:09:35 GMT, on a pass starting over western Switzerland to the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula, over Saudi Arabia. This video focuses on stars overhead as the lights of Western Europe to the Arabian Peninsula fly by under the airglow of the Earth. The pass begins looking over the Adriatic and Ionian Seas toward Greece. As the ISS travels southeast toward the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the island of Cyprus and countries of Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan can be seen as brightly lit areas. To the left of track, more populated cities near the Persian Gulf are seen. The ISS continues southeast toward the less populated areas of southern Saudi Arabia before approaching the Indian Ocean.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-22740 to ISS030-E-22955

Date posted: 2012/01/17
High Definition video of the Stars over Switzerland to Saudi Arabia
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Looking Behind the ISS at North Africa, Western Europe, and Across the Terminator

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken December 28, 2011 from 13:32:55 to 13:54:42 GMT, on a pass beginning just west of Africa, over Cape Verde, to eastern Kazakhstan. The video begins looking backtrack from the ISS toward the Atlantic Ocean, where the Cape Verde islands can be seen. As the ISS travels northeast, the western coast of Africa can be seen before traveling over the Strait of Gibraltar and toward Spain and Portugal. The snow-covered Alps Mountains can be seen as the ISS continues northeast toward Kazakhstan. The video ends with a great shot of the Terminator line, which is where the ISS passes into the Earth's nighttime hours.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-17452 to ISS030-E-17708

Date posted: 2012/01/05
High Definition video of North Africa, Western Europe, and Across the Terminator
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Day Pass over the Dunes in Africa to Snow-Covered Kazakhstan

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken December 29, 2011 from 10:59:09 to 11:21:09 GMT, on a pass from the Gulf of Guinea, just south of Cote d'Ivoire, to northern Kazakhstan. The pass begins looking behind the International Space Station toward the Atlantic Ocean before continuing northeast over northern Africa. The dunes in the deserts of northern Africa can be carefully seen. The pass continues over the Gulf of Sidra and the Mediterranean Sea to Greece, and on toward the Black Sea and the snow-covered Pontic Mountains. The pass ends over the snow-covered Kazakhstan before the ISS crosses over the Terminator.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-18382 to ISS030-E-18644

Date posted: 2012/01/05
High Definition video of a Day Pass over the Dunes of Africa to the snow-covered Kazakhstan
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Soyuz and the Coastline of Africa

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken November 18 to 19, 2011 from 23:47:21 to 00:04:42 GMT, on a pass from South Africa, west of Johannesburg, to southern Pakistan. The Russian vehicle Soyuz is shown off-center throughout the video, just days before astronauts Mike Fossum, Satoshi Furukawa, and Sergey Volkov board this vehicle to come back to Earth. Near the beginning of the video, the bright lights of Johannesburg as displayed as the ISS tracks northeast up the eastern Africa coastline. A few lightning storms can also be seen near Johannesburg. As the pass continues, the Arabian Peninsula is only briefly seen in the far right of the video before the pass ends over the Arabian Sea, just south of Pakistan.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-43610 to ISS029-E-43946

Date posted: 2011/11/22
High Definition video of the Soyuz and Coastline of Africa
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Western Europe to the Arabian Peninsula

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken October 21, 2011 from 21:18:03 to 21:35:28 GMT, on a pass from just west of the United Kingdom over Ireland to just southeast of the Arabian Peninsula. At the beginning of this nighttime video, the main Western European cities stand out significantly. The English Channel is seen as a black pathway separating the United Kingdom and northern France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Large cities like London, Paris, and Brussels stand out as brightly-lit clusters of light. The pass continues southeast towards Slovenia and Croatia, with lightning storms by the Boot of Italy. The Black Sea comes up down the track as the dark patch amongst lights, which is due east of Turkey. Traveling further southeast, Cyprus and cities along the Mediterranean Sea coast stand out before the Syrian Desert on the Arabian Peninsula. Near the end of the video and in the southeastern portion of the Arabian Peninsula shows the populated cities of Dubai and Doha. This pass ends over the Arabian Sea.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-40074 to ISS029-E-40415

Date posted: 2011/11/14
High Definition video of Western Europe to the Arabian Peninsula
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Atlantic Ocean to Africa

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken October 15, 2011 from 02:22:10 to 02:41:01 GMT, on a pass from just northeast of the Island of Newfoundland over the North Atlantic Ocean to central Africa, over South Sudan. The very beginning of the video, in the left of the screen, the Aurora Borealis can be seen. As the ISS heads southeast over the Atlantic Ocean, the lights of Spain and Portugal can be seen coming up in the distance, with France to the north (left of screen). As the ISS flies over the Mediterranean, the Balearic Islands show up well before the deserts in northern Africa. The darker patches seen through the Libyan Desert are rock outcrops amidst miles of sand dunes. The pass ends over central Africa, as forested areas begin to appear in a more moist atmosphere.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-26106 to ISS029-E-26483

Date posted: 2011/10/21
High Definition video of the pass from the Atlantic Ocean to Africa
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Halfway around the World

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken October 8, 2011 from 20:53:10 to 21:24:58 GMT, on a long pass from the mid-Atlantic between South America and Africa ascending to the Balkan Peninsula, and rounding out on a descending pass southwest towards the Solomon Islands. The camera is west-looking, therefore the setting sun in the west is the first image seen throughout this sequence. The pass continues over the Sahara Desert in northern Africa, before hitting the Mediterranean Sea and the Balkan Peninsula. Finally, the ISS flies over Russia and Kazakhstan and begins the descending pass towards the southern Pacific Ocean. The faint lights from the Aurora Borealis can be seen near the end of the video.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-22493 to ISS029-E-23129

Date posted: 2011/10/14
High Definition video of pass halfway around the Earth
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Night Pass over Central Africa and the Middle East

This video over Central Africa and the Middle East was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. This sequence of shots was taken October 1, 2011 from 21:20:24 to 21:41:24 GMT, on an ascending pass from just southwest of Cote d'Ivoire in Africa to southern Russia. At the beginning of the video, thunderstorms can be seen in western Africa. The first lights that are visible is along the Nile River in Egypt near the Mediterranean Sea and through Israel and Lebanon along the coast (click here to read our article on the Nile River Delta). Further down the pass and into the Middle East, the Baku Peninsula brightly sticks out into the Caspian Sea. The pass ends over southern Russia, looking northeastward toward the Aurora Borealis.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-18677 to ISS029-E-19097

Date posted: 2011/10/11
High Definition video of the pass over Africa and the Middle East
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Evening Pass over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East

This video over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. This sequence of shots was taken October 6, 2011 from 19:46:23 to 19:58:41 GMT, on an ascending pass from the Sahara Desert to western Kazakhstan. The rust color of the Sahara Desert is the first view in this video. Because this is an evening pass, the surface colors can be seen still, along with the bright lights of populated areas. The first view of these bright lights is along the Nile River, which can be seen just before the Red Sea. Just down track is the historic city of Jerusalem, and Lebanon's capital city, Beirut. As the ISS approaches the Caspian Sea, the Baku peninsula can be seen as a bright peninsula in the sea. The pass ends looking over Kazakhstan.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-19693 to ISS029-E-19914

Date posted: 2011/10/11
High Definition video of the pass over Africa and the Middle East
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Day Pass down the Red Sea

This video over the southeastern Mediterranean Sea and down the coastline of the Red Sea was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. This sequence of shots was taken September 17, 2011 from 12:14:25 to 12:24:55 GMT, on a descending pass from southern Greece to the Horn of Africa. The Nile River Delta that drains into the Mediterranean Sea can be seen well near the beginning of the video. As the ISS continues on its descending track southeast down the Red Sea, a thunderstorm can be seen just north of Djibouti.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-5560 to ISS029-E-5686

Date posted: 2011/10/11
High Definition video of the pass down the Red Sea
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ISS flies over Africa, the Mideast, and the Terminator line

This video sequence was created using a series of still images taken onboard the International Space Station on August 21, 2011, from 14:12:10 to 14:43:48 GMT. In this video, you can clearly see as the ISS passes over central Africa through the desert and northeastward to Egypt and the Nile River Delta. The Baku peninsula in the Caspian Sea stands out under slight cloud cover, and one of the final landmarks you can see is the Aral Sea. Finally, the ISS approaches the terminator line, which is the line separating day and night on the surface of Earth.


Compiled from frames ISS028-E-31151 to ISS028-E-31315

Date posted: 2011/09/22
High Definition video of Nile River Delta pass
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Please note:
Images in sequence may not be cataloged, and may therefore have no centerpoint or other descriptive metadata. Sequence titles are intended to provide a general idea of what geographic areas are included, and may not be accurate.