ESA releases video of lightning-illuminated Earth

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ESA has released a video [embedded below] showing the illumination caused on Earth as seen from the International Space Station (ISS) 400 km above Earth.

“Lightning illuminates the area they strike on Earth but their flash can be seen from space too”, notes ESA in a statement. “This timelapse was made from 49 images taken 400 km above Earth in 2012 by an astronaut on the International Space Station travelling at 28 800 km/h. At these distances a camera flash is pointless, but our planet moves by so quickly images can end up being blurred.”

ESA says that its Nightpod camera aid compensates for the motion of the Station and the target stays firmly centred in frame so the final image is in focus. The space agency further reveals that astronauts can set up the device to take ultra-sharp images automatically using off-the-shelf cameras.