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11 Sep, 2014 18:51

Polar auroras in high-definition ISS time lapse video by German astronaut

Polar auroras in high-definition ISS time lapse video by German astronaut

A German astronaut has captured stunning images of polar auroras as he orbited Earth on the International Space Station. Alexander Gerst’s images led to the creation of the Ultra-HD – or ‘4K’ time lapse video, running at 25 frames per second.

The photographs were taken at a resolution of 4,256 x 2,832 pixels and depict Gerst’s orbit around the Earth alongside his fellow ISS Space Station expedition 40 crewmembers.

His journey shows the rippling greenish lights characteristic of the electrically-charged sun particle collisions, bright city lights in the nighttime, the different hues of the Earth’s atmosphere and a satellite launch.

“The artistic effects of the light trails from stars and cities at night are created by superimposing the individual images and fading them out slowly,” the European Space Agency wrote in a release with the video.

The Ultra-High-Definition video – the best video quality possible to date – comes with the instruction: “Be sure to change the settings in YouTube if your computer or television can handle it for the full effect.”

Gerst is spending some five and a half months on the ISS. He arrived in May on a Soyuz spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The mission is dubbed “Blue Dot” after the way the Earth looked in a photo captured by NASA’s Voyager spacecraft.

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube by European Space Agency, ESA