Astronauts take a lot of photos of Earth, for personal use and for specific experiments on board the International Space Station. NASA saves them on a server, and now a data cruncher has mapped them all.
Nathan Bergey went through the entire archive, which contains about 1.1 million images, and cataloged them by location and mission. "Coastlines, islands and cities seem to be popular targets. So much so that it's possible to make out basic continents," he writes.
These photos were taken in every mission since the station's founding in 2000, but there was a major ramp-up around Expedition 30, which started in November 2011. Incidentally, astronaut Don Pettit took almost half of the archive's images during his time on Expedition 30/31, including some awesome time-lapse sequences of the station's orbit.
Check out Bergey's full project on his website.
Well it just makes sense. Our spacefaring people so far all know that they are very much ambassadors-very few in number. They are selected specifically for that tertiary skill just like all the rest of their talents. But how many great pics of space are already available? Lots. How many sources for downward looking photoimagery are there? Very few.
So they know people like to see the stuff. As for our governments-they know that without this specific type of pic, the popularity of all our programs tends to nosedive. They personalize the national programs in a way the people can understand even if they don't understand any of the space tech in use or follow growing national dissent over resources worldwide.
You'd think that we'd see more of the competition of camera companies than we do.
I would have guessed "their food".
Sometimes in typical Earth born life we humans miss the obvious right in front of our faces, because it moving too fast or two slow.
All across the internet it has been stated by a ka-zillion different folk of aliens and with comments of pictures of this in NASA pictures.
I wish they mount a high speed camera on the ISS and let it run for the amount of time for the ISS circle the Earth and then go back attempt to see what flying objects\unknown we can!
Yea, sure lots of scientist will say that is silly to look for aliens or UFOs and I say fine to that.
But we still might find something interesting we never saw before from mother Earth in the name of science!