Time lapse video: ISS cometrise

By Phil Plait | December 22, 2011 2:24 pm

Earlier, I posted an incredible picture of Comet Lovejoy taken by space station astronaut Dan Burbank. NASA just posted an amazing time lapse video made from those pictures!

Holy wow! What an astonishing sight that must be. And did you see the object moving right-to-left a few seconds in, just above the green airglow layer? I suspect that was a low-Earth satellite in a different orbit, moving in a different direction. The storms over a dark Australia below make this video that much more dreamlike.

But it’s real. A comet found by an amateur astronomer, observed the world around — and above — and then seen and photographed from space by a man floating in an internationally designed and built habitat in orbit.

That is, quite simply, very cool.

Tip o’ the lens cap to Asteroid Watch.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff

Comments (9)

  1. Fascinating, what a view! I¬īm in the south hemisphere, downloaded the data to Stellarium and will try some cometgazing tonight.

  2. Carsten

    Hi Phil,

    have you noticed that stars look brighter when their light passes through the atmosphere than when they are a popping up above the atmosphere? This is quite amazing! Maybe some kind of forward scatting by aerosols???

    – Carsten

  3. Kat

    Wow. Just wow. 8-o

  4. VinceRN

    This and the last are some of the coolest story/images you’ve brought us. Very bleeping cool.

  5. Wow. Incredibly cool.

  6. Messier Tidy Upper

    That is, quite simply, very cool.

    That’s an understatement! ūüėČ

    That’s one superluminously superlatives exceeding video. I love it. Thanks. ūüėÄ

    I take it that’s Dan Burbank himself giving the excellent commentary at the end there?

    I’d say you already have a winner here for the best astronomical image of 2012 – this or the stills from it displayed in the previous blog post – the rest are now competing for runners-up surely? 8)

  7. Rick Johnson

    Virtually identical to watching Ikeya Seki 1965 rise in the dawn sky from a dark hilltop 46 years ago with its over 30 degree tail, just happens a lot faster in orbit. It too was a sun grazer probably in the same Kreutz family of sungrazers. It’s core fell apart and the comet pretty well vanished, head first. Will Lovejoy suffer the same fate I wonder?


  8. Matt B.

    That’s got to be fake; I didn’t hear a whoosh! (Comets go “whoosh”, right?!)


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