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Roughly half an orbit of the ISS, from sunrise over Northern Europe to sunset south-east of Australia. The view is to the north of the station’s ground track. In the upper-left, is the tail of the Space Shuttle Discovery, which docked with the Space Station during the STS-131 mission. The animation begins with a view of snow-covered Norway and the Jutland Peninsula. Low clouds cover Central Europe.
The animation continues as the Station flies by Ukraine, eastern Russia, the Volga River, and then the Russian Steppes. South and east of the steppes, a dust storm comes into view over the Taklimakan Desert, followed shortly by the lake-studded Tibetan Plateau and the glaciers of the Himalayan Mountains. Smoke-shrouded lowlands hug the southern margin of the Himalaya. Smoke also covers much of South-east Asia, including the Irrawaddy Delta.
After the Space Station passes over the sapphire-blue South China Sea, the island of Borneo appears, followed by the open expanse of the Indian Ocean. A trio of coral reefs lies off the coast of Western Australia, which is studded with clouds. Australia’s arid interior is coloured myriad shades of red. As sunset nears, cloud shadows lengthen, highlighting their structure. Night falls as the Space Station crosses the terminator above the South Pacific.