Live video of our Earth from orbit (from the International Space Station or ISS courtesy of NASA)
And here’s the International Space Station ground tracking position to you can tell where on the earth it is. http://iss.astroviewer.net/
Here’s a backup in case the NASA website is down: ISS Tracker
After you watch for a while you will notice the “real time” images lag behind the “actual position” of the Space Station by a minute or so.
In addition, I’ve seen the “Current position” of the International Space Station map off by some 70 miles or so. For example, when the map indicated the International Space Station would track just along the East shore of the Great Salt Lake, the images showed it tracking some 40 miles or so West of the lake.
Here’s an analogy – the “real time” images which represent physical reality of what the astronauts can see out the window (with a small time delay) contrasted with the “Current position” of the International Space Station is analogous to a Theoretician’s calculation – meaning “Your mileage may vary”).
In spite of that conflict, these two tools together are a fantastic way to begin seeing our Planet from beyond political boundaries.
If you see a nice but still image with a large logo in the upper left corner – that means the camera is off line for the moment. Sometimes it will come back in a moment, other times it may be offline for a hour or more. NASA could be using the bandwidth for a conference or sometimes they just turn it off when the IIS is on the night side.
This is thrilling for me because I wrote about a dedicated TV Channel with full time video from orbit in about 1989. Later Al Gore picked up the idea, but never did anything notable with it.
This is OK, but not even near the high quality we all know is possible that I believe can inspire millions ! So now that this first experiment is operating – lets get Version 2 even better.
In the meantime I bet I get less work done when it is over an beautiful area :-)
*** Update: To see when the International Space Station will be visible overhead at your home — Click here. Next look on the upper right side of the screen for “Change Location” and click on that. Finally, use your mouse to move the cross-hair to your location on the planet and click “apply new location” – and you will get a list of times in the next ten days when the Space Station will be visible overhead.
The best times are just before daybreak and just after sunset.