‘The Journey Home': Amazing Time-Lapsed Video Made From Space by Astronaut Ron Garan [Video]

NEW YORK | Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 3:22pm EDT

Ron Garan, a NASA astronaut released a video that “is about as close as we can come to show what astronauts see in space.”

Today lots of time-lapse videos exist as the astronauts have just recently started shooting long series of images enabling the creation of these stunning videos made from still photos. This new video was brought by one of the photographers.

Ron Garan is an austronaut of NASA who has recently returned to Earth from five-and-a-half-months aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Being in outer space he and fellow crew member, Mike Fossum, had started holding experimentations with ‘time-lapsed’ photography. As a result, they had created a series of still images that are “stitched” together to make a continuous flow like an animation.

The ISS orbited the Earth every 90 minutes, and the photos were taken during one of Garan’s final “laps” around the planet before returning home.

“The flashes of light you see throughout the video is lightning captured by the individual frames of the photography. Yet, only a small percentage of the actual lightning is captured in the imagery. While the video is sped up, I think it still accurately captures the paparazzi-look of lightening storms as we see them from space,” said the astronaut.

The photos were taken from the ISS’s Cupola observatory module, and in objective had gotten the sceneries from Africa to the Mediterranean Sea, North America to South America and Europe to the Middle East, among more than a dozen other journeys. It had also passed over Hurricanes Katia and Irene and caught a number of lightning bolts in its lens as well.

A few days ago the astronaut revealed on his personal blog fragileoasis.org that the idea itself came from the ISS astronauts’ photography instructor Katrina Willoughby.

“About six weeks before my return to Earth from the International Space Station, I received an Email from Katrina Willoughby, who is one of our photography instructors. She suggested giving time-lapse photography a try.”

“I hadn’t tried time-lapse yet because I overestimated how hard it would be to capture great images, and the time-lapse photography I had seen to date didn’t seem as impressive as the still imagery we had been taking with some of the new equipment onboard, “said Garan.

Garan posted the video, accompanied with the music of Peter Gabriel, to his blog, Fragile Oasis, a website supported by NASA that he founded in 2008 in order to share his experiences in space and promote the ISS project.

It’s also a “sweet home” message to three astronauts – Mike Fossum, Sergei Volkov and Satoshi Furukawa — who are expected to return to Earth this week after being six months aboard the station.

Garan and Fossum set DSLR cameras to take one picture about every three seconds. They said that even though the ISS is traveling at a speed of 17,500 mph, time-lapse photography makes think that the space station is traveling even faster.

 “I then set up the camera to take about 500 pictures at 3-second intervals. When I saw the results, I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep!” Garan said in his post. [Via Huff Post, PlanetSave and Fragile Oasis]

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