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About Earth Movies

Astronauts love to photograph Earth!

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This 10 minute video takes YOU to the ISS, to understand this magical view from above.  You experience the Earth, and learn how astronauts photograph Earth and take the movies highlighted here.

It is a great introduction, a guided tour of Earth from the ISS.

Here's how we convert their photos into movies

1. Astronauts mount camera in window

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2. Camera takes series of time-lapse photos

Florida 6 images

3. We assemble photos into a movie

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4. Key insight: we adjust speed by generating "in-between" images

Movie engine calculates in-between

Patagonia Chile & Argentina - Mar 23 2015 - 5x speed (043–044–933-4K)

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ISS circles the Earth every 92 minutes

ISS over Italy screen capture

A simple lesson about ISS orbital path:

The ISS flies about 250 miles above the Earth.  This gives a fascinating perspective, as well depicted in the photograph above.

The orbit is circular - round the Earth every 92 minutes.    Meanwhile the Earth rotates, so that each pass of the ISS shifts westward, as shown in the map, with orbits 1 and 2.  The ISS eventually passes over most locations.

As seen on the globe, the ISS orbit is angled at a 51.6 degree inclination, meaning that the path never goes over the poles, it stays between 51.6 degrees north and south latitudes.  That actually covers 90% of the populated area of Earth, so you've got plenty to see.

Traveling at 17,000 mph, you have less than a minute over any target location, so get your camera ready!

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ISS two orbits

Partners: Space Station Explorers & TERC

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Association of Space Explorers is the professional association of flown astronauts from over 35 countries.

These are the astronauts who actually took these photos and movies!

And they are so eager to make them available to you and other learners, explorers and space enthusiasts!


TERC is an educational non-profit, actively promoting hands-on, minds-engaged learning.

TERC has been working on Windows on Earth, in its various manifestations for over 15 years.

TERC firmly believes in the power of Earth observation for learners and explorers of all ages.

TERC commits to helping us all treasure and take care of our home planet.

So. . .have fun exploring Earth!

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• Simply enjoy watching Earth

• Compare with your own travels

• Learn about Earth

• Use in the classroom

• Take care of home planet Earth

• Create music videos

• And so many other ideas!

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