ISS Video: Lightning Over Africa, Backlit By the Milky Way

The International Space Station affords a pretty decent view

ISS Over Africa
via YouTube

The best space images are the ones that put our humble place in perspective, whether it's an image from the moon or a particularly stunning nebula. This one accomplishes the task brilliantly, giving a glimpse of the arm of our galaxy hovering over the limb of our little planet. Watch a timelapse video below.

This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station, over a 15-minute period Dec. 29. The space station is passing over central Africa, near southeastern Niger, toward the south Indian Ocean and Madagascar.

The Milky Way appears as a haze in the middle of the screen, with a brief appearance by Comet Lovejoy.