When astronauts head to the International Space Station (ISS), Dr. Justin Wilkinson, the chief geoscientist at NASA, asks them to snap pictures of various geographical locations. From this vantage point 250 miles above the planet’s surface, he learns many things — for example, he tells Slate, “there are a lot more examples of a geographical phenomenon called an inland delta or megafan—that is, deltas formed far from coastlines—than was once thought.”
Featuring the haunting, ethereal music of Axial Ensemble, title track “Premonition.” Aboard the ISS, we fly along over Earth’s luminous nocturnal landscapes, with Dr. Wilkinson as our guide.
As you fly over the planet—via stitched-together time-lapse images taken from the window of the International Space Station within the last year—Dr. Wilkinson explains what you’re seeing. Watch the interview with Dr. Wilkinson, Cosmic Journeys: What an Astronaut’s Camera Sees, the Earth’s most impressive landscapes as captured by astronauts with their digital cameras: