We get to see the Earth in high definition every day with our high-def eyes, it’s true, but we’re limited to a certain ground-level point of view. Not so much the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. And they’ve just sent down a batch of stunning 4K footage of the Earth taken with their fancy RED Epic Dragon camera.
This isn’t actually the first footage from the Epic Dragon, or even the first 4K video of the Earth from space. The crew has been shooting interior shots of science experiments and bagpipe playing, and they were savvy enough to capture an orbital sunrise right away — but the new cut has a better one. If you’re looking for close-up views of Earth, the astonishing Urthecast camera has you covered.
(If you want to watch in 4K, you’ll need to put it in a new window — on a 4K display, of course — and choose the correct resolution from the drop-up menu.)
But this quick reel of “Crew Observations” is still special in its own way, like all my readers. These are carefully planned and properly exposed exterior shots, and it’s certain this is just a taste. Of course, the resulting files are so huge that beaming them down takes ages.
No word on whether any 6K (6144×3160) video, of which the Epic Dragon is capable, is being shot. At that point it would probably be faster to put a hard drive in a Soyuz capsule and drop it into the ocean — which would be the coolest possible implementation of sneakernet ever attempted.
On that note, NASA is storing all its 4K videos on Archive.org under a Public Domain license, so feel free to use this in your next space epic home video.