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German astronaut captures a breathtaking time lapse of our incredible planet

Take a break from holiday madness and watch this.


Mike Fenn

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 23, 2014   Updated on May 29, 2021, 10:14 pm CDT

German astronaut Alexander Gerst knows a thing or two about true beauty. In a YouTube video that collects a series of photographs taken from his perspective high above the Earth, he treats us all to imagery so grand, so breathtaking, that any and all problems we’re currently facing seem so petty by comparison.

From sweeping views of the Earth’s natural features to wildly different tours of the cities her inhabitants built over the centuries, Gerst’s unique view is something that should be seen by everyone. In addition to romanticizing the planet itself, Gerst also made sure to capture other elements while in orbit, including the International Space Station.

Naturally, Gerst’s video gained traction on YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter

“Life is at its most beautiful, when you remove humanity from the equation. An outside observation of this little sphere in the abyss shows such flawless beauty, unspoiled by religion, greed, war or poverty. If only more of us could bear witness to such sights, there’d be a whole lot less to fight about,” YouTube user Stephen Ferguson said.

While there are no shortage of problems with Earth (and its inhabitants), videos like Gerst’s serve as a very welcome reminder that we are, at the end of the day, all living in something beautifully amazing.

Image via NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Dec 23, 2014, 12:45 pm CST