The incredible night photos and time-lapse movies NASA has been sharing with us provoke questions about our planet. That thin-yellow atmospheric line separating earth from space, for example, that we see in all of the night shots provokes two questions: (1) how thick is this line? and (2) why is this line colored the way it is?
The visible yellow and green/blue capped line represents atmosphere reaching ~100km above the surface of the earth. The colors are not reflected light, and not pollution, but rather are light generated from the components in the atmosphere itself. Yes, the atmosphere gives off its own light, in a chemiluminescent process called "airglow" or "night glow."
I have written a blog to accompany this video that explains the various colors of "Night Glow" and discusses the Aurora as well. I hope you find this blog a useful companion to understanding what you are seeing.
In particular, NASA astronaut Don Pettit has filmed and provided the majority of the available time-lapses. He is one of the explorers that truly understands how important it is for explorers to share the wonder of their experiences through both art and science. May all future explorers follow his lead.
These images were imported into Adobe Lightroom, cropped, rotated, and slightly tweaked. I had two main goals with the edits done in the manner I did them. My first goal was to bring the viewer's attention to the atmospheric line by focusing the cropping to prominently feature the atmospheric line and the "Airglow." Secondly, most of the images we see of earth show the planet at the bottom of the frame and space at the top of the frame. To remind the viewer that, in space, the orientation by which you chose to view planets is up to the viewer, I took artistic license with these images to present different ways to view our planet's movement in space.
On the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect.
The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.
‘Overview’ is a short film that explores this phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment.
• EDGAR MITCHELL – Apollo 14 astronaut and founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences
• RON GARAN – ISS astronaut and founder of humanitarian organization Fragile Oasis
• NICOLE STOTT – Shuttle and ISS astronaut and member of Fragile Oasis
• JEFF HOFFMAN – Shuttle astronaut and senior lecturer at MIT
• SHANE KIMBROUGH – Shuttle/ISS astronaut and Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army
• FRANK WHITE – space theorist and author of the book ‘The Overview Effect’
• DAVID LOY- philosopher and author
• DAVID BEAVER – philosopher and co-founder of The Overview Institute
Producer: STEVE KENNEDY
Director: GUY REID
Editor: STEVE KENNEDY
Director of Photography: CHRISTOPHER FERSTAD
Original Score: HUMAN SUITS
Dubbing Mixer: PATCH MORRISON
Filmed with Canon 5D Mk ii.
Additional footage from NASA / ESA archives
Duration: 19 minutes
Set against the space-race canvas of the 1960's, Anomaly is inspired by the traditional Christmas Nativity and explores, through a modern-day lens, the events of two-thousand years ago. It is a story about relationships that intertwine around an unprecedented astronomical event, as a couple navigate life's realities at a time of unfathomable significance. Filmed on location in NYC, Maine, Kansas, and Colorado, the film features Christian Cooke, Lexi Johnson, Andrew Sensenig, and Anthony Lopez.