The International Space Station (ISS) is a truly remarkable laboratory located 260 miles (420 km) above Earth’s surface, and traveling at 17,000 mph (27,400 Km/hr) – that’s 4.7 miles per second. It is a massive spacecraft – the largest ever constructed and bigger than a football field, and is one of the most complex machines ever built by the human race. It is very visible from the ground, and regularly flies over your community. So take this as an invitation to your students, teachers, and their families to plan time to view ISS in the evening, or before dawn, as it flies overhead. It likely will be flying over your community before the 23 SSEP Mission 3b and 4 experiments that are aboard her right now, return to Earth next Monday, March 10.
Here is a wonderful NASA website that will allow you to input your location on Earth, and it will provide dates, times, and duration of visibility for ISS, either before dawn or after sunset. You can even sign up for email alerts letting you know when there will be an overflight.
You might even think about planning an ISS observing party, getting a presenter to talk about the universe, and asking local amateur astronomers to come out with their telescopes. You could turn this into a community engagement event, celebrating your community’s participation in SSEP and in America’s and Canada’s Space Programs. But in the meantime let families know they can go out over the next few days and see a most remarkable machine fly overhead – the second brightest object in the sky after the Moon – REALLY. And you’ve probably never seen it because it’s only visible for 6 minutes or less at very specific times, and in specific directions in the sky.
Time-Lapse Animation – ISS Assembly
We also thought that for this post it would be appropriate to include a video that was showcased on this Blog back in January 2014, given last week’s start of SSEP for 19 Mission 6 to ISS communities. It is fitting – for as you look up and see ISS in your sky, with the video below, you will have a sense of what the astronauts aboard her are seeing when they look down … at you. From that post –
The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education wanted to share what we consider a gift to the human race. Only in the last 60 years has our technology allowed us to venture forth from this world, and see it from the solemnity of space. Countless human generations never got to see what you are about to see – the nature of our existence.
ISS provides a permanent human presence in space, and serves as an outpost from which we can look down on our world in reverence and in awe. And in that moment we see pride in ourselves, for the human need to explore has taken us to this high frontier. That need to explore is seen in our children, and threads through our lives. It is what propels the scientist and engineer. And it is what propels educators to create programs like SSEP – so that our children can be immersed in journey.
Right now student flight experiment teams from 23 communities in the U.S. and Canada have real microgravity experiments on ISS. Consider where your mini-laboratory is right now, traveling through space at 17,000 miles per hour (4.7 miles per second) at an altitude of 260 miles above Earth’s surface.
Time-Lapse EARTH was created by Bruce Berry, Jr., from footage taken by the astronauts on the International Space Station. Found below are Bruce’s notes on the making of the video. See more of Bruce’s work at http://bruce-wayne-photography.com
We invite you to recognize that you are part of this adventure through the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, project the video below on a screen in your classrooms and boardrooms, turn down the lights, turn up the volume, and savor what we humans have done.
This video can be put to work as a teachable moment in classrooms. It touches on history, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the human condition – all expressed through an artistry that combines moving images and music.
Have the class watch the video a few times and identify the atmosphere, storms, lightning, land masses, oceans, and cities.
Have students leave a comment below on their thoughts after seeing this video.
Notes from the artist:
All Time-lapse sequences were taken by the astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) (Thanks guys for making this available to the public for use!) All footage has been color graded, denoised, deflickered, slowed down and stabilized by myself. Clips were then complied and converted to 1080 HD at 24 frames/sec.
Hope you all enjoy it and thanks for watching!
P.S. It would be a dream to actually be up there in the ISS. Btw NASA, if you need a Biochemistry Ph.D. to do some work for you up there, I’m your man, LOL!
Music: “Manhatta” composed & performed by “The Cinematic Orchestra”
All rights reserved to their respective owners.
Edited by: Bruce W. Berry @ Website: http://bruce-wayne-photography.com
Image Courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory
NASA Johnson Space Center, The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
Footage Note: The slower video represents a closer resemblance to the true speed of the International Space Station; this footage was shot at one frame per second. Clips are all marked with an *.
Locations of Footage in the order they appear:
1. A Jump over the Terminator
2. Sarychev Volcano
3. From Turkey to Iran*
4. Hurricane Irene Hits the US
5. Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean Through the Cupola*
6. Central Great Plains at Night*
7. Aurora Borealis over the North Atlantic Ocean*
8. Aurora Borealis from Central U.S.*
9. Up the East Coast of North America*
10. Myanmar to Malaysia*
11. Western Europe to Central India
12. Middle East to the South Pacific Ocean
13. Aurora Borealis over Europe*
14. City Lights over Middle East*
15. European City Lights*
16. Northwest coast of United States to Central South America at Night
17. Moonglow over Canada and Northern U.S.*
18. Stars from the Pacific Ocean (1)
19. Stars from the Pacific Ocean (2)
20. Stars from the Pacific Ocean (3)
21. Stars and the Milky Way over the Atlantic*
22. The Milky Way and Storms over Africa (1)
23. The Milky Way and Storms over Africa (2)
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC, working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and Subaru of America, Inc. are National Partners on the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.