While searching for a Long Short that could help us visualize the Anthropocene for Mark Lynas’ SALT, we came upon an amazing resource: The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Contained therein are well over a million images of our planet taken from space.
And since NASA is a public institution paid for by American tax dollars, their policy for using the photos is basically, “They’re yours – have at ‘em!” (Just give them some credit – they did go to space to take them for us…)
One particularly exciting section within this massive collection is a series of photos taken by astronauts on the International Space Station using low-light cameras. Stitched together into videos, these images create amazing time-lapse depictions of the Earth and human civilization rotating and pulsing in a starry sky. Despite being over 200 miles below, humanity features significantly in the videos, weaving across the landscape, clustering around water sources and glowing through cloud cover.