Video: A New Perspective on Earth

Candice Gaukel Andrews November 24, 2011 8

The beautiful lights from the aurora borealis are even more stunning from space. ©From the video “Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over,” NASA

When we read about a rhinoceros species that just went extinct in Vietnam, or the plight of polar bears and how we could lose them in 40 years, or the countless other news items about continuing habitat degradation and the loss of biodiversity on Earth, well, it tends to get a little depressing.

So, on this Thanksgiving, instead of focusing on what we’re losing, it wouldn’t hurt to step back, take a day off and look at the big picture.

That’s just where the following film using photos from the International Space Station—taken from August to October 2011—will take you: to a grander view. Featured are shots of the aurora borealis and aurora australis.

Enjoy this perspective on what we do still have—this beautiful Earth.

Happy Thanksgiving,



  1. Daphney November 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Simply Stunning! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Teresita Bastides-Heron November 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    I can only say “Thank you” it is so beautiful but at the same time is very spirtual video. I enjoyed it very much and also I posted on my FB for my friends to enjoy it.

  3. Dan November 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Wow…..what technology can capture so that many can enjoy….

  4. Dale November 25, 2011 at 10:27 am - Reply

    Beautiful, fragile, and rapidly changing. That’s what struck me as I watched this great piece of video. I also couldn’t help but wonder how different the view would have been 150 years ago if we’d had the ability to see it this way then. From this vantage point and on the ground in many locations there is much to appreciate and marvel at. Meanwhile, the rapid changes we’ve caused dominates the landscape and and have altered it greatly before we understand and learned to preserve the vast diversity of life on the planet.
    How to harness this sharp contrast to better influence the development and consumption rapidly degrading most parts of the planet is the challenge that must be solved. Take a look at the new book by Eugene Linden, “The Ragged Edge of the World: Encounters at the Frontier Where Modernity, Wildlands, and indigenous Peoples Meet” for more insight on this.
    Sorry to say I don’t have answers but spreading the word much more effectively about the great work being done to conserve and recover the biological diversity still here is certainly a critical tool. The dedication, hard work, and accomplishments being made towards that end are certainly worth being thankful for. I am!

  5. Anne Forbes November 25, 2011 at 7:42 am - Reply

    Candice, thank you for your reminder to be aware of the beauty and wonder of the earth in the midst of hard times. The following is a piece that I shared around my Thanksgiving table yesterday, with each person reading a section in turn.

    Gratitude for the Circle of Life: A Thanksgiving Litany

    We call upon the cosmos, the glowing, twinkling lights of sky around us, and especially our warming sun with its essential energy, and with longing for its wisdom, we ask . . .
    cosmos, may we learn your ways

    We call upon the earth, our planet home, with its beautiful depths and soaring heights, its vitality and abundance of life, and with longing for its wisdom, we ask . . .
    earth, may we learn your ways

    We call upon the open waters of our lakes, the springs and rivers that feed them, and the deep groundwater seas whose precious water we drink, and with longing for their wisdom, we ask . . .
    waters, may we learn your ways

    We call upon the rich soil which grows our abundant gardens and fruit-laden orchards, the fertile fields nourished by microorganisms, and with longing for its wisdom, we ask . . .
    living soil, may we learn your ways

    We call upon the green plants which fuel our lives with oxygen, food, and beauty; the algae of our waters, the deep rooted grasses of the prairie, the corn, beans, and squash of our gardens, the perennial parade of wildflowers, the cattails, dogwood, sumac, willow, and oak; and with longing for their wisdom, we ask . . .
    green plants, may we learn your ways

    We call upon the creatures, our brothers and sisters of the fields and forest, of the lake and prairie; the fox and deer, the hawk and heron, the walleye and bluegill, the rabbit and squirrel, the turtle and frog, the grasshopper and ants who share our home, and with longing for their wisdom, we ask . . .
    creatures, may we learn your ways

    We call upon the qualities of this season of Thanksgiving, knowing that in every moment we receive gifts of abundance from the family of life, and with hearts full of gratitude for these blessings, we pledge . . .

    gratitude, we will learn your ways

    gratitude, we will live your ways

    (Adapted by Anne Forbes from a Wild Onion Bioregional Blessing Litany by Bea Briggs who was inspired by a Chinook Blessing Litany)

  6. Travis November 24, 2011 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    Great sounds, too!

  7. Kris November 24, 2011 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this video! It was so cool to pick out parts of the world, like the Middle East, throughout the video. Happy Thanksgiving!

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