Lightning and Meteors and Spaceships, Oh My

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
July 13 2014 7:30 AM

Zzzzzzzap! And Whooooosh!

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I missed it when it was originally posted last week, but thanks to IFLS I saw this very cool Vine video taken by International Space Station astronaut Reid Wiseman, showing lightning flashes inside a cloud as he sailed hundreds of kilometers above:

If you like the video, I have a few more animations of storms and such as seen from the ISS. Seeing something like that—lightning flashes from above—would almost be worth the body-wracking nausea I’d certainly get if I went into space. Almost.

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Not only that, but Wiseman’s fellow astronaut Alex Gerst posted his first time-lapse animation from space, showing stars rising over the Earth’s limb with the Canadian robot arm hanging in the foreground … and if you look just to the right of center at the 2-second mark, you’ll see a streak appear for a split second. Gerst caught a meteor in his very first animation!

You should follow both Gerst and Wiseman on Twitter. And you know what? Read Wiseman’s bio, and see what kind of person gets to go to space. I think you’ll find it … enlightening.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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