NASA’s High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) Experiment Will Blow Your Mind

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Good news for all Space enthusiasts. NASA today that is on 25th of November 2015 launched an experiment which enables you to see live visuals of Earth from cameras fitted aboard the International Space Station. The experiment is called The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment which has been launched under the ISS Science for everyone program.

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The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment places four commercially available HD cameras on the exterior of the space station and uses them to stream live video of Earth for viewing online. The cameras are enclosed in a temperature specific housing and are exposed to the harsh radiation of space. Analysis of the effect of space on the video quality, over the time HDEV is operational, may help engineers decide which cameras are the best types to use on future missions. High school students helped design some of the cameras’ components, through the High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program, and student teams operate the experiment.
To complement this and also to help people understand the exact location of what they are looking at on Earth through the live feed, European Space Agency (ESA) developed a real-time International Space Station Tracker which is synchronous with the live feed available.
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The tracker developed by ESA, shows where the Space Station is right now and its path 90 minutes ago and 90 minutes ahead. Due to Earth’s rotation, the Station seems to travel from west to east over our planet. A map of Earth is also there to further help you to see where the Station is flying directly above. 

Currently, there are two places on the Internet which provides this service, one by ESA and other by NASA’s Upstream TV.

ESA : Where is the ISS?
NASA: Upstream (High Definition Earth Viewing)

Below is a live view of Earth taken by a camera on the International Space Station, a view similar to that astronauts get from above. Without Earth’s atmosphere to protect us, people and equipment endure the full barrage of cosmic rays and solar radiation. Sometimes the image is black because the Space Station does not have continuous radio contact with ground control. In that case, check back later.
Live video from the feed below of the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During “loss of signal” periods, viewers will see a blue screen. Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below.

Source: NASA

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