New Space Station Camera Reveals the Cosmic Shore

 Space Station Camera

Part of human fascination with space is the chance to look back at our own planet from afar. The unique vantage from the International Space Station affords a vista both breathtaking and scientifically illuminating.Here on Earth, both scientists and spectators rely on the station's crew to record and transmit images and videos of what they see to share in their experience. Until recently, reduced lighting conditions at night, combined with insufficiently perceptive equipment, made some of the most beautiful views difficult to capture.

This changed with the arrival of the Super Sensitive High Definition TV, or SS-HDTV, camera on the space station. With the SS-HDTV, the crew can document new and more detailed footage of the dynamic interactions that take place in the area between the Earths' atmosphere and the vacuum of space, known as the cosmic shore.

According to Keiji Murakami, a senior engineer with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, this camera's superior recording capability opens up a significant window of observation. Some may not realize that the station orbits the Earth 16 times a day, experiencing multiple sunrises and sunsets during those 24 hours. The crew actually has a 50/50 chance of a night view. "Half of the Earth view from [station] is a night view. And the day view and night view are very different," said Murakami.

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