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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 - Special

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

Moon Glow over 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 13:34:12 to 13:38:48 GMT, on a pass over the Pacific Ocean, from just south of Alaska to west of California. This video primarily focuses on the glow of the Moon as the crew travels east into the sunrise. The glow on either side of the Moon as the video progresses is lens flare.

Compiled from frames ISS038-E-39279 to ISS038-E-39463

Date posted: 2014/02/10

Moon Glow over North Pacific
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Our Planet through the Cupola

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken on March 11, 2012 from 13:47:03 to 14:20:28 GMT, on a pass from the Indian Ocean, southwest of Australia, to the Pacific Ocean, midway between Australia and South America. This video showcases the entire globe through use of a very short lens inside of the Cupola. These types of views of our planet show the limb of the Earth wrapping around, as well as the extent of the aurora.

Compiled from frames ISS030-E-136790 to ISS030-E-138155

Date posted: 2014/02/10

Our Planet through the Cupola
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ISS in Constant Sunlight

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 34 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken on January 6, 2013 from 11:53:05 to 13:32:53 GMT, on a pass from eastern English Channel, just east of London, making one complete orbit to the Adriatic Sea, east of Pascara. This video primarily features the ISS in constant sunlight, with the sun never setting below the horizon during the crew's 90 minute trip around the Earth. The sun looks to be making a circle above the horizon. This can occur when the ISS has orbit tracks that ride along the terminator line (the visible line from space that separates daylight and night).

Compiled from frames ISS034-E-22470 to ISS034-E-23468

Date posted: 2013/01/23

ISS in Constant Sunlight
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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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One Trip around the World

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 34 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken on December 29, 2012 from 16:37:28 to 18:17:16 GMT, on a pass from the Gulf of Mexico, just east of Brownsville, Texas, to the northern United States, near the border of Iowa and Minnesota. This fast-paced video features one complete orbit around the Earth from the ISS. The ISS passes over the terminator line, and soon after the moon can be seen circling around the top of the video. The ISS then passes over the terminator line again into daylight as the moon sets on the horizon.

Compiled from frames ISS034-E-12667 to ISS034-E-13665

Date posted: 2013/01/23

One Trip around the World
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Moonset across South America

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 34 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken on December 29, 2012 from 13:15:54 to 13:19:28 GMT, on a pass from the southern Pacific Ocean, about 1000 miles west of Chile, to western Peru, just over the city of Lima. This video features the moon setting over the southern Pacific Ocean. The moon phase on 29 December 2012 was Waning Gibbous, as the actual full moon was the previous day, on 28 December 2012.

Compiled from frames ISS034-E-11219 to ISS034-E-11433

Date posted: 2013/01/23

Moonset across South America
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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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Across the Pacific Ocean

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 08:39:47 to 09:11:23 GMT, on a pass from southeast of New Zealand to northern Texas. This fast-paced video first features the Aurora Australis over the Southern Hemisphere as the stars shoot by over the Pacific Ocean. The video ends as the ISS travels over the southwestern United States.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-66034 to ISS031-E-66136

Date posted: 2012/08/29
High Definition video of Across the Pacific Ocean
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Earth from the JEM Window

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from June 23, 2012 from 13:02:35 to 13:19:08 GMT, on a pass from the South Atlantic Ocean, east of Brazil, to northeastern Algeria. This video mainly features the camera looking out of the JEM (Japanese Experiment Module) window over the Atlantic Ocean and Africa.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-154274 to ISS031-E-155267

Date posted: 2012/08/29
High Definition video of Earth from the JEM Window
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Fast Motion through the Cupola

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from June 28, 2012 from 04:49:28 to 05:20:32 GMT, on a pass from the Pacific Ocean, west of Mexico, to the South Atlantic Ocean, midway between South America and Africa. This video focuses on the Earth spinning quickly by through the Cupola window using long-exposure techniques on the camera.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-168632 to ISS031-E-168690

Date posted: 2012/07/20
High Definition video of Fast Motion through the Cupola
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Stars and the Milky Way over the Atlantic*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from June 24, 2012 from 07:09:03 to 07:13:12 GMT, on a pass from the South Atlantic Ocean, east of southern South America and north of the Falkland Islands, east over the South Atlantic Ocean. This video primarily focuses on the star field and the Milky Way (near the center of the star field) as the ISS travels over the South Atlantic Ocean. Some city lights can be seen, as well as the airglow surrounding the Earth's limb.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-152527 to ISS031-E-152758

Date posted: 2012/07/20
High Definition video of Stars and the Milky Way over the Atlantic
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Sunrise and Sunset around Summer Solstice

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from June 6, 2012 from 04:42:11 to 05:41:16 GMT, on a pass from the Southern Ocean, south of Tasmania, to western Africa, over northern Mali. During this video, the ISS makes an almost complete orbit around the Earth while pointing the camera towards the Northern Hemisphere around the Summer Solstice. Throughout this pass, the sun begins to set througth the solar panels on the ISS and barely touches the edge of the Earth before it begins to rise again. During the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, latitudes above approximately 67 degrees receive 24 hours of daylight.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-100132 to ISS031-E-103530

Date posted: 2012/07/20
High Definition video of Sunrise and Sunset around Summer Solstice
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Tropical Storm Doksuri and Northern Australia*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from June 28, 2012 from 00:54:14 to 01:09:58 GMT, on a pass from the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of western Australia, to the North Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippine Sea. This video begins over northwestern Australia as the ISS travels northeast and over the sunglint on the Timor Sea and Arafura Sea. As the ISS continues northeast, Tropical Storm Doksuri and the storm's outflow can be seen (for more information on this tropical storm, see this NASA Earth Observatory article). The pass ends looking over the North Pacific Ocean.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-181672 to ISS031-E-182616

Date posted: 2012/07/20
High Definition video of Tropical Storm Doksuri and Northern Australia
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Circling the Earth

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from June 23, 2012 from 18:20:30 to 18:51:20 GMT, on a pass from northwest Iran to the Southern Ocean, south of Australia. This interesting video was taken looking out the Cupola window at a fast spinning Earth. In addition to the Earth's spin, the star field in the background can be seen rotating, which gives the perspective of the ISS circling the Earth.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-180064 to ISS031-E-180120

Date posted: 2012/07/20
High Definition video of Circling the Earth
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Solar Eclipse over Asia*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from May 20, 2012 from 23:34:20 to 23:42:21 GMT, on a pass from the southern Sea of Okhotsk to the eastern Philippine Sea. In this video, the astronauts captured the shadow over eastern Asia from the Annular Solar Eclipse on May 20 and 21 of 2012. This shadow is so easily spotted due to the contrast colors on the heavy clouds.



Date posted: 2012/07/09
High Definition video of Solar Eclipse over Asia
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Stars from the ISS

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken from May 12, 2012 to May 18. This fast-paced video features long-exposure photography to capture star trails around the world. The astronaut has varied the look angle in each of the videos in this sequence: from looking straight ahead of the ISS to pointing the camera to capture the rotation of the stars.



Date posted: 2012/07/09
High Definition video of Stars from the ISS
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Polar Mesospheric Clouds on the Horizon*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken June 5, 2012 from 18:26:38 to 18:31:04 GMT, on a pass from western Iraq to western Uzbekistan. This video captures an atmospheric phenomenon called "Polar Mesospheric Clouds" (Click here to learn more about this type of cloud). By focusing on the limb of the Earth at night with the sun illuminating it, the crew was able to capture some movement to these mysterious clouds.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-97792 to ISS031-E-98058

Date posted: 2012/06/14
High Definition video of Polar Mesospheric Clouds on the Horizon
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Moon Rising over Pacific Ocean*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken May 8, 2012 from 05:02:43 to 05:14:35 GMT, on a pass from South Pacific Ocean, near French Polynesia, to the North Pacific Ocean, west of Hawaii. As this video begins, the ISS is passing over the terminator line into darkness. A crewmember inside of the Cupola then opens up the shades over the Cupola windows to observe the moon rising over the horizon.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-16172 to ISS031-E-16884

Date posted: 2012/06/14
High Definition video of Moon Rising over Pacific Ocean
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Moon Rising*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken May 6, 2012 from 12:58:04 to 13:02:06 GMT, on a pass from western India to just northeast of Sri Lanka over the Bay of Bengal. This video primarily focuses on the moon rising over the horizon, as well as an astronaut in the Cupola window, observing it. At the end of the video, the astronaut pulls one of the Cupola windows closed.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-7964 to ISS031-E-8206

Date posted: 2012/06/04
High Definition video of Moon Rising
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Moon Rising over Asia*

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 31 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken May 6, 2012 from 12:54:02 to 12:56:54 GMT, on a pass from southern Afghanistan to western India. The main feature of this video is the moon rising over the horizon. Many clouds obstruct the view of any land features. At the end of the pass, the Cupola windows begin to open one by one.


Compiled from frames ISS031-E-9907 to ISS031-E-10079

Date posted: 2012/06/04
High Definition video of Moon Rising over Asia
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Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean Through the Cupola*

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 06:16:05 to 06:26:55 GMT, on a pass from just south of eastern Australia to the South Pacific Ocean. This video begins as the ISS travels over the Indian Ocean, east and then northeast to the Pacific Ocean. As the ISS travels to the east, the sun can be seen setting off in the west (away from the direction of travel). As the sun sets over the horizon, refraction from the Earth's atmosphere causes the sun to appear orange before setting behind the planet.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-211603 to ISS030-E-212178

Date posted: 2012/05/30
High Definition video of Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean Through the Cupola
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Sunset over China

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 11:52:36 to 11:58:15 GMT, on a pass from southeastern China to the Sea of Okhotsk. This video focuses mainly on the sun setting over the Earth's limb. Click here to learn more about sunsets seen from the International Space Station.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-235718 to ISS030-E-235829

Date posted: 2012/05/16
High Definition video of Sunset over China
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Stars Behind the ISS

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken March 11, 2012 from 01:41:22 to 01:42:46 GMT, on a pass from southern Pacific Ocean, west of southern South America, to the northern Atlantic Ocean, west of Mauritania in northwestern Africa. This fast video features the stars over the western hemisphere. Astronaut Don Pettit explains the type of long-exposure tactics he uses for this type of time-lapse sequence.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-159064 to ISS030-E-159113

Date posted: 2012/04/23
High Definition video of Stars Behind the ISS
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Stars Around the World

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken March 10 - 11, 2012. This video is comprised of several short videos where the crew member left the shutter open for an extended amount of time to catch the moving star field. The first five videos were taken while the camera was near the glass of the window inside the Cupola, and the last three videos were taken from further inside the Cupola.

Date posted: 2012/04/09

High Definition video of Stars Around the World
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Rotating Stars from the Cupola

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken February 26, 2012 from 12:28:23 to 13:02:42 GMT and 14:00:48 to 14:34:02 GMT, on a pass from central Mongolia to the South Pacific Ocean and from northern China to the South Pacific Ocean. This video is comprised of two separate videos, and both videos have shutter speeds of 30 seconds so the ground seems to be rushing by under the ISS. These two videos also provide a unique viewing experience from inside of the Cupola. The crew used a reflective sphere inside of the Cupola to attain the imagery used for this video.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-112548 to ISS030-E-112612 and ISS030-E-112548 to ISS030-E-112675

Date posted: 2012/03/06
High Definition video of Rotating Stars from the Cupola
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Moonset over the Atlantic Ocean

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken January 9, 2012 from 11:45:52 to 11:55:44 GMT, on a pass over the North Atlantic Ocean. This sequence of shots was taken as the ISS was traveling northeast over the Atlantic Ocean. Beginning northeast of the Caribbean islands, the crew pointed the camera towards the full Moon to show the moon setting over the horizon. The pass ends west of Western Europe, still over the ocean.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-46575 to ISS030-E-46853

Date posted: 2012/01/30
High Definition video of Moonset over the Atlantic Ocean
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Lovejoy Comet Video Montage

This video montage was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken between December 21, 2011 and December 26, 2011. The series of four videos in this montage all show the Lovejoy Comet from different viewing perspectives from around the Southern Hemisphere. The first video is from just west of South America, looking east from the Pacific Ocean. The second video was taken from southeastern Philippines to eastern Queensland, Australia. The third video was taken over Madagascar while the International Space Station was traveling southeast. The bright orange and yellow colors near the Earth on the bottom of the video is light from the Sun being distorted by our atmosphere. The last video, which has been individually published on our website, was taken on one of the first nights the comets could be seen from Earth, as the ISS was traveling southeast from northeast Australia to New Zealand.


Date posted: 2012/01/05
High Definition video of the Lovejoy Comet Montage
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Stars over Western Europe and the Sahara Desert

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 22:31:32 to 22:45:29 GMT, on a pass starting northwest of Spain, near the Bay of Biscay, to northern Africa, near the border of Sudan and South Sudan. The main point of focus on this video is the star field above the Earth's atmospheric limb. The video begins over the Bay of Biscay and captures the star field as the ISS travels southeast toward central Africa.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-15252 to ISS030-E-15433

Date posted: 2012/01/05
High Definition video of the Stars over Western Europe and the Sahara Dessert
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Lovejoy Comet Flies over Southern Hemisphere

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken December 21, 2011 from 17:35:50 to 17:43:02 GMT, on a pass from eastern Australia southeast to New Zealand. This brief video features the Lovejoy Comet, which passed by the sun around December 16, and was seen over the Southern Hemisphere near the South Pacific countries.


Compiled from frames ISS030-E-14227 to ISS030-E-14443

Date posted: 2011/12/22
High Definition video of the Lovejoy Comet
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Stars over Africa

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. The sequence of shots was taken October 22, 2011 from 00:28:42 to 00:48:45 GMT, on a pass from the North Atlantic Ocean, just west of Portugal and Spain, to northwest of Mozambique in southeastern Africa. This video begins just northwest of the United Kingdom and shows the ISS traveling southeast towards Africa. The camera points at the skies , capturing clusters of stars as they fly by.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-35575 to ISS029-E-35868

Date posted: 2011/11/07
High Definition video of the stars over Africa
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Progress 42P Re-Entering Earth's Atmosphere

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 12:49:23 to 12:54:07 GMT, on a pass starting about 900 miles east of New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean traveling southeastward. This brief video was compiled from a sequence of shots taken after the Progress 42P vehicle undocked from the ISS. This vehicle brought the crew supplies on October 29, 2011, and undocked later that day. This video shows the vehicle burning up in the Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.


Compiled from frames ISS029-E-34031 to ISS029-E-34121

Date posted: 2011/11/01
High Definition video of Progress 42P Re-Entering the Atmosphere
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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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Hurricane Irene Hits the US

This series of still frames was taken as the International Space Station was tracking northeastward toward the eastern coast of the United States. The imagery was taken by the Expedition 28 crew on August 26, 2011, from 20:28:27 - 20:30:22 GMT (4:28:27 - 4:30:22 EDT). The astronauts onboard the ISS captured this series of still frames as Hurricane Irene, a category 1 storm at the time, made landfall into the coast of North Carolina.


Compiled from frames ISS028-E-34203 to ISS028-E-34260

Date posted: 2011/09/22
 High Definition video of Hurricane Irene
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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.
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