An American astronaut sent the first Vine from space

“A simple toy from my childhood makes for a cool picture in space.” Tweeted from space by Reid Wiseman ‏@astro_reid on June 1. (Reid Wiseman/NASA)

Twitter’s favorite American astronaut Reid Wiseman is at it again. This time, the Maryland native known as @astro_reid uploaded an amazing Vine from space.

The six-second video captures something that can only be seen from space: a never-setting sun.

When the International Space Station makes its 92-minute orbit around Earth by flying parallel to “the terminator line,” which separates day from night on the planet, the sun appears to never set.

Astronomy enthusiast Bob King explains:

The terminator is the boundary between day and night on the planet, and the equator cuts perpendicular to the axis. The space station’s tipped orbit places it very near the terminator this time of year, high enough for it to catch the sun’s rays all night long.

For sky watchers that means that virtually every time the station comes over your house this time of year, you’ll see it shining in sunlight even in the middle of the night. Depending on your particular location, five passes a night are possible. Amazing!

Imagine that view, roughly 15 times a day.

The Vine isn’t the only incredible thing Wiseman has been sharing through social media. He’s also been tweeting remarkable photos from aboard the station since docking two weeks ago.

Some of the latest:






Abby Phillip is a general assignment national reporter for the Washington Post. She can be reached at On Twitter: @abbydphillip
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