The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

New timelapse shows six months of views from space in six minutes

Using footage from 12,500 images captured during his six-month stay aboard the International Space Station, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst created a six-minute timelapse of the view of Earth. (Video: European Space Agency)

During his six-month "Blue Dot" mission on the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst would often leave his camera running while he worked and did experiments. He shared many of the resulting images during his journey, which turned him into something of a social media celebrity -- Twitter's introduction to the awe-inspiring views of space travel.

Now back on Earth, Gerst has released a six-minute timelapse made up of some of the best shots from his ISS tenure. The video includes auroras (several, in fact) clouds, stars, oceans, lit-up cities, lightning, and glimpses of both the ISS and other spacecraft.

Even if you don't have time to watch the entire thing, you've got to catch the last aurora at the end (at 5:28).

This video features 12,500 images from Gert's camera, but you can see the rest of his ISS shots at his Flickr page. To find out more about the science experiments Gerst ran while his camera was taking in the sights, check out the European Space Agency's blog.