A spectacular video of a lightning storm taking place on Earth, taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station, has been released by the European Space Agency (ESA).
The time-lapse footage, viewed from 400 kilometers (250 miles) above Earth, was compiled from 49 images taken in 2012.
The International Space Station (ISS) was travelling at 28,800 km/h (17,398 mph) when the images were taken.
The video shows a huge cloud with bright flashes appearing randomly at different points. Each flash a different shape, size and brightness.
Without NighPod, these images would never have been created.
To be able to create such amazing pictures from so far away, and travelling at such speed, is no easy feat. ISS’ state-of-the-art Nightpod device keeps its target firmly centered in frame so that the final image is in focus.
According to the European Space Agency:
“The steady progression of frames seen in this video with the target staying in centre frame would be nearly impossible without Nightpod.”
What is NightPod?
NightPod is a tracking device that assists cameras in taking improved photographs of Earth, especially in low-light conditions.
“The device (NightPod) compensates for ISS movement allowing a camera fitted to the device a longer exposure time on fixed targets on Earth. This is not only helpful for taking images of Earth for education, promotion or research activities, it also holds the potential for use on orbital craft on future missions around other planets and planetary bodies.”
Video – Lightning storm filmed from space