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This is what the terminator line looks like from the ISS

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 10:27am
Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor

NASA has been very into social media lately, and I could not be more excited. It’s a great way to inspire younger generations and remind everyone why the space program—despite its not insignificant costs—is so important. NASA has been capitalizing on the “space is cool again” trend and really showcasing the contributions and advancements the program continues to make. Programs like Cosmos and NASA’s commitment to education via youtube and twitter have really contributed to the trend.

(Full disclosure: I have fallen hook, line, and sinker for space and just went to see Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk last week. I learned many things including Bobby Kennedy, Jr. is a heck of an activist and also I’m too old to stay out that late.) NASA sent out their first Vine this weekend and it is beautiful.

The Vine was posted by Greg Wiseman, a naval aviator and American Astronaut, who launched on his first space flight on May 28, 2014. It features an interesting phenomenon that occurs when the ISS is flying parallel with the terminator line where the sun never actually sets. The accompanying tweet from Wiseman: 1st Vine from space! Single Earth orbit. Sun never sets flying parallel w/terminator line #ISS #Exp40 @astro_alex

 	  This image shows the Earth’s surface, apparently from space.  (Copyright The Living Earth.)

The ISS crewmembers have a much different “day” then we do on earth. They can see up to 16 sunrises and sunsets in 24 hours. But, when the ISS is aligned with the terminator line—a moving line that separates the illuminated day side and dark night side of earth—they don’t see any sunsets at all.

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