Since arriving at the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this year, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesce has taken many photographs of the Earth and other objects. He has now launched a new project that involves capturing images trying to convey the high speed at which the space station orbits the Earth.
A picture from some tryouts of a photo technique I’ve been experimenting with. It gives the impression of the speed we fly at (28 800 km/h!). This image is one 30-second exposure of Earth at night. The trails you see are stars, and city lights. More to come! 📷🤓 #MissionAlpha pic.twitter.com/h2GJScy6mk
— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) June 13, 2021
The orbital speed of the ISS is about 28 thousand km/h, which is about 7.6 km per second. “A shot was taken while trying out the photographic equipment I was experimenting with. They convey the speed at which we are flying (28,800 km / h!). This image is one 30 second exposure of the Earth at night. The footprints you see are stars and city lights. There will be more to come! ”
The ISS is located at an altitude of about 400 km above the Earth’s surface and orbits our planet every 90 minutes. This means that the station bends around the Earth about 16 times in 24 hours.
NASA noted that it is possible to get a clearer picture of how fast the ISS is moving in space by subscribing to NASA’s alert system. It will let you know when the space station is passing over you. On a clear night or early morning, the sun’s rays reflecting off the station’s solar panels make the ISS easy to spot with the naked eye.