So with a relatively important piece of work to be getting on with on this pleasantly Spring-like Saturday, I did what most people do when they’ve a billion better things to be doing and logged onto Facebook for a bit of voyeuristic procrastination. Whilst scrolling down the Newsfeed, expecting not to see anything of any real importance, I saw that WWF’S Earth Hour – United Kingdom had posted a link to an intriguing sounding video – a timelapse filmed from the International Space Station as it passed over continents and cities at night.
The concept of space and the Universe has always been one to absolutely stagger me. Despite wanting to, I just can’t understand the science or enormity of it all. There are so many things I’d love to know about the solar system, but each time I try to learn I become lost within an intimidating wave of terminologies, equations and measurements that I simply can’t even begin to process. So, for me, space is just that. A limitless and mysterious yet fascinating mass that has long preexisted mankind and will longer still outlive it.
Thankfully, you don’t need to have an intellectual understanding of space to be able to enjoy this video. In fact, limited knowledge of the subject only serves to make this video all the more fascinating. How strange to see our planet from this angle. How strange to see the Western US coast as just a mere black landmass splattered with lights – no sign at all of its cosmopolitan cities and suburbs which brim with movie stars, mansions, beaches, beauty salons and bubble-tea bars. How strange to see Europe without seeing continental breakfasts, Alpine rivers and roving valleys. How strange to see the Northern Lights flutter above the planet like emerald ribbons in the wind… quite a contrast to the view from ground-level – rooted to a hill North of Reykjavik in freezing evening winds, salopettes flapping against shins, faces gazed up waiting for even the briefest of views of those green flashes… How strange just to see the World without seeing that which constantly beavers away to keep it going, and keep those lights lit – its people…
Imagery like this fascinates me because it reminds me of just how big the world truly is. It’s funny to think of all of the things that were going on below the recording equipment that were just too minute, too obscure, to be picked up: people cooking dinner, catching buses, watching television, brushing teeth, embracing, getting married, giving birth, fighting wars, passing away… all things which are significant to us individually, but appear not to be acknowledged in Space…
No wonder its size is so hard to comprehend…
Song of the Day: Tennis – Deep In The Woods
“The smoke in the night
the ash on the light
I think that it might be the last thing in sight
I know now I am right to
let you be consumed by
the smoke in the night
the ash on the light