Recently NASA installed a low-light camera aboard the International Space Station, capable of taking hi-res video footage while the ISS is passing over the nightside of our planet. During Expeditions 28 and 29, astronauts took time-lapse videos of the Earth at night, and the results are utterly awesome (as in the original meaning of the word: awe-inspiring).
Put this on full-screen mode, sit back, and enjoy. Here's what you're going to see:
1. Aurora, the Northern Lights and Southern Lights, dance in shimmering green curtains above the atmosphere.
2. Lightning flickers bright white in the clouds below.
3. Lights of cities and towns against the darkness; the heavily populated Nile River valley is particularly brilliant.
4. The yellow airglow of oxygen in the atmosphere.
5. Stars, bright and untwinkling, in numbers so great that constellations are hard to recognize.