A Year Along the Geostationary Orbit

reposted from Aeon

From 20,000 miles up, our home planet is a hypnotic swirl of the familiar and the sublime

The Japanese weather satellite Himawari-8 was launched in 2014 for a planned eight-year mission to collect forecasting, weather-monitoring and research data. For his experimental short A Year Along the Geostationary Orbit, the German filmmaker Felix Dierich used Himawari-8 data made publicly available by the Japanese and Australian governments to craft a timelapse that condenses one year into 16 stunning minutes. Orbiting some 20,000 miles above the Earth – much further than the International Space Station (245 miles) yet much closer than the Moon (c238,900 miles) – while perpetually fixed over the Eastern Hemisphere, Himawari-8 provides a unique perspective on the planet and its weather patterns. With the film’s haunting soundtrack and swirling imagery, it’s easy to get lost in the hypnotic clouds and forget that below them is half of humanity, rendered almost entirely invisible by the distance.