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"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 - Southeast Asia

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

Bangkok to North Pacific

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 38 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken on January 30, 2014 from 13:07:04 to 13:31:39 GMT, on a pass from northeastern Malaysia to the North Pacific Ocean, just south of the Aleutian Islands. This video starts looking northeast toward Bangkok at night and continues to travel northeast toward Hong Kong, then continues toward the Korean Peninsula and Beijing area. Just before the video passes over the black of the Pacific Ocean, the Kamchatka Peninsula can be faintly seen, with few city lights and snow-covered. The video ends looking north/northeast toward the Aleutian Islands.


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

Compiled from frames ISS038-E-37941 to ISS038-E-38914

Date posted: 2014/02/10
Bangkok to North Pacific
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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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Across the Middle East

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 12:03:33 to 12:19:53 GMT, on a pass from southwestern Russia, near the Black Sea, to the southern end of the Bay of Bengal, between Malaysia and Sri Lanka. The Caspian Sea is one of the first things seen after the clouds break during this daytime pass over the Middle East. Soon after, the Elburz Mountains are seen with snow covering the tops of the mountain peaks, followed by the Paropamisus Mountains in northern Afghanistan. The strong V-shaped mountain range is that of Sulaiman Mountains, in Pakistan. The video ends as the ISS passes over the terminator line.

Compiled from frames ISS034-E-18613 to ISS034-E-19103

Date posted: 2013/01/23

Across the Middle East
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Myanmar to Malaysia*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken April 30, 2012 from 13:41:10 to 13:47:37 GMT, on a pass from central Myanmar to just north of Malaysia. This night video features the ISS traveling southeast over the Indochina peninsula, where the cities of Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City stand out, as well as the lights of offshore boats around the peninsula. The pass ends as the ISS nears storms over Indonesia and the Philippines.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-10646 to ISS031-E-11033

Date posted: 2012/06/04
High Definition video of Myanmar to Malaysia
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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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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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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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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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Day Pass Across Himalayas to Eastern Russia

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 08:04:48 to 08:20:03 GMT, on a pass from western Pakistan to far southeastern Russia, near the Sea of Okhotsk. This video begins over Pakistan and India, heading northeast over the snow-covered Himalayan Mountains. From this point, snow and cloud covers most of the land until the ISS crosses over the Terminator line.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-18051 to ISS030-E-18234

Date posted: 2012/01/05
High Definition video of the Stars over Western Europe and the Sahara Dessert
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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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Middle East to the South Pacific Ocean

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken October 29, 2011 from 15:24:54 to 15:52:55 GMT, on a pass from western Kazakhstan near the Caspian Sea southeast to South Australia, just north of the Great Australian Bight. The video begins just northwest of the Tibetan Plateau, where the greenish glow is from airglow. The line separating the plateau and the city lights to the right of track are the Himalaya Mountains, with cities like New Delhi, Lahore, and Islamabad standing out. Continuing down track, one can spot the brightly-lit city of Calcutta just right of track before flying over Burma and Thailand. Thailand's capital city, Bangkok, is the brightest-lit city in the video. The white lights of the city can be seen nearby the green and purple lights on the Gulf of Thailand, which are fishing boats and oil rigs. Once across the Gulf of Thailand, cities like Kuala Lumpur and Singapore stand out right of track before flying over the island of Java (long, thin island downtrack from Singapore). Near the end of the video the ISS flies southeast over Australia and lightning storms, and the Milky Way can be seen rising in the sky.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-36830 to ISS029-E-37387

Date posted: 2011/11/07
High Definition video of the Middle East to the South Pacific Ocean
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Western Europe to Central India

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken October 19, 2011 from 19:59:21 to 20:18:56 GMT, on a pass from the North Atlantic Ocean, just west of France and the United Kingdom, to central India. The pass begins coming up on the lights of the United Kingdom and northwestern Europe. Larger cities like London, Paris, and Brussels stand out as very bright clusters of lights split by the English Channel. As the ISS continues southeast towards the Baltic Sea and Poland, the lights become more scarce, but cities like Warsaw still stand out. Just downtrack of this are more clouded regions in Ukraine and Russia, with Kyiv and Moscow lit under the clouds. The pass continues into the Middle East, where the India-Pakistan border shows with cities like Lahore, Islamabad, and New Delhi brightly-lit. The pass ends over central India looking southeast.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-38092 to ISS029-E-38475

Date posted: 2011/11/07
High Definition video of Western Europe to Central India
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Eastern Europe to Southeastern Asia at Night

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken October 29, 2011 from 16:56:46 to 17:28:21 GMT, on a pass beginning over central Ukraine to just south of Australia, over the Great Australian Bight. This video immediately starts by looking southeast toward the Black Sea, then continues over the Caspian Sea and to the Mideast. The India-Pakistan border stands out as the snaking orange line left of track. The bright lights nearby the borderline are those of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and main seaport. The pass continues down the western half of India, with lightning storms shooting off in the southwestern half of the peninsula. The lights of Sri Lanka can be seen through the clouds directly downtrack of India before passing into the Indian Ocean. Finally, the pass ends just west of Australia, with the lights of Perth seen on the coastline. The Aurora Australis can be seen in the distance as the video ends.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-34145 to ISS029-E-34717

Date posted: 2011/11/01
High Definition video of Eastern Europe to Southeastern Asia at Night
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Islands in the Philippine Sea at Night

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken October 20, 2011 from 17:48:40 to 18:05:17 GMT, on a descending pass from eastern China to western New Guinea, and rounds out to an ascending pass just as the video ends north of Australia. As the pass begins southeastward towards the South China Sea, the first noticably-lit area is that of Hong Kong and Macau. The island of Taiwan can also be easily seen left of track. The ISS passes over the South China Sea towards the Philippines, which have some cloud cover and storms. Finally, the pass ends just north of Australia, where the Yorke Peninsula can be seen as a dark, rusty color protruding into the water.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-33152 to ISS029-E-33428

Date posted: 2011/11/01
High Definition video of the Islands of the Philippine Sea at Night
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Views of the Mideast at Night

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 19:53:26 to 20:25:24 GMT, on a pass beginning over Turkmenistan, east of the Caspian Sea to southeastern China, just northwest of Hong Kong. City lights show at the beginning of the video as the ISS travels southeastward towards the India-Pakistan borderline (click here for our Earth Observatory article to learn more about this area). Pakistan's second largest city, Lahore, can be easily seen as the brightly lit area left of track. Immediately downtrack of Lahore is New Delhi, India's capital city, with the Kathiawar Peninsula right of track dimly lit. Smaller cities in southern India can be seen as the pass continues southeastward through southern India, into the Bay of Bengal. Lightning storms are also present, represented by the flashing lights throughout the video. The pass ends over western Indonesia, looking left of track at the island of Sumatra.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-32060 to ISS029-E-32400

Date posted: 2011/10/27
High Definition video of Southeastern Asia at Night
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Pass over Southeastern Asia

This video over Southeastern Asia was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. This sequence of shots was taken October 7, 2011 from 12:41:10 to 12:50:46 GMT, on an ascending pass from the island of Java to northeast of Japan. Clouds fill most of the sky until the island of Japan approaches near the end of the sequence. Tokyo is brightly visible on the eastern-most side of the island.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-22131 to ISS029-E-22323

Date posted: 2011/10/14
High Definition video of the pass over the Southeastern Asia
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Night Pass over Malaysia

This video showing night lights over Malaysia was taken by the crew of Expedition 28 on board the International Space Station. This sequence of shots was taken August 21, 2011 from 19:33:05 to 19:38:05 GMT, on a descending pass from western Burma to just east of Malaysia on the South China Sea. Clouds cover the countries of Burma and Thailand at the beginning of the video. Many thunderstorms can be seen over Singapore, just to the west of Malaysia (to the right in this video). Malaysia stands out nicely near the end of this video as the peninsula jetting into the South China Sea.


Compiled from frames ISS028-E-29743 to ISS028-E-29803

Date posted: 2011/10/14
High Definition video of the pass over Malaysia
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Pass over Eastern Asia to Philippine Sea and Guam

This pass begins over Mongolia, looking out west towards the Pacific Ocean, China, and Japan. As the video progresses, you can see major cities along the coast and the Japanese islands on the Philippine Sea. The island of Guam can be seen further down the pass into the Philippine Sea, and the pass ends just to the east of New Zealand. A lightning storm can be seen as light pulses near the end of the video.


Compiled from frames ISS028-E-30770 to ISS028-E-31149

Date posted: 2011/09/22
High Definition video of the night pass over Philippine Sea
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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.