Do you have five minutes to see what Earth really looks like? You need to watch the time lapse video below. It shows spectacular low-Earth-orbit views of our planet -- the northern (and southern) lights are patches of swirling electric-green fog, our cities look like patches of fire, and thunderstorms flicker and twinkle like tiny static shocks. What's most amazing, frankly, is that this is real -- it looks like a rendering or special effects, but apparently is not.
The source images were captured by Ron Garan from the International Space Station, using an HD camera pointed towards Earth. The footage was cleaned up and edited by Michael König and music was added by Jan Jelinek. You can watch it below in standard definition, or watch it on Vimeo in HD. (I recommend the latter.)
From the film's description:
Shooting locations in order of appearance: 1. Aurora Borealis Pass over the United States at Night 2. Aurora Borealis and eastern United States at Night 3. Aurora Australis from Madagascar to southwest of Australia 4. Aurora Australis south of Australia 5. Northwest coast of United States to Central South America at Night 6. Aurora Australis from the Southern to the Northern Pacific Ocean 7. Halfway around the World 8. Night Pass over Central Africa and the Middle East 9. Evening Pass over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East 10. Pass over Canada and Central United States at Night 11. Pass over Southern California to Hudson Bay 12. Islands in the Philippine Sea at Night 13. Pass over Eastern Asia to Philippine Sea and Guam 14. Views of the Mideast at Night 15. Night Pass over Mediterranean Sea 16. Aurora Borealis and the United States at Night 17. Aurora Australis over Indian Ocean 18. Eastern Europe to Southeastern Asia at Night