As you would probably expect from the space agency, NASA has always been at the forefront of visual technology. Back in 2017, NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fisher broadcast a live broadcast from the International Space Station using ultra-high-definition 4K technology – the next-generation video standard – for the first time.
The use of 4K makes incredibly sharp image quality with a horizontal screen resolution of up to 4000 pixels (the number of horizontal pixels of the previous 1080P with a high resolution was 1,920). The ISS’s 4K high-resolution camera has the ability to record up to 300 frames per second ̵
While you’ll obviously only get the full 4K benefits if you watch such footage on a 4K-compatible display, the videos are still captivating on standard screens.
Here is a small selection of our favorite 4K space videos.
On April 17, 2016, an active region on the right side of the sun released sunlight at a medium level. This event was filmed by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, a spacecraft from NASA’s Living with a Star mission that has been observing the sun since 2010. This video is especially special because the radiation was shot in several wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light, which is usually invisible to our eyes, but is shown in various color-coded frames in the images of the Solar Dynamics Observatory for easy viewing. (Each differently shaded montage you see is shot in a different light spectrum.) The footage is accompanied by the aptly named song “Collide” by Greg Lerman.
The amazing phenomenon of the Northern Lights is something that some of us can only dream of being lucky to see in person. However, thanks to the UHD camera of the International Space Station, we can enjoy one of the best views of the planet from our own homes. This short video uses time intervals taken by the International Space Station and shows both the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis phenomena, which occur when electrically charged electrons and protons in the Earth’s magnetic field collide with neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere.
This video uses data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently orbiting the moon, to recreate some of the stunning views that Apollo 13 astronauts saw during their journey from the far side in 1970. These accelerated 4K visuals show a lot different views of the lunar surface, starting with grounding – the apparent setting of the earth below the lunar horizon – and rising and ending with Apollo 13 restoring radio contact with mission control after losing it when he was behind the moon.
It also shows the path of the trajectory of free return around the moon, when the spacecraft went back to Earth. This is a fascinating look at the wonders that Apollo 13 astronauts have seen in real life. Music lovers can also watch a special version of the video, tuned to “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy of the National Symphony Orchestra Pops, created as part of the celebration of NASA’s 60th anniversary.
Shot in 2015, this groundbreaking image is from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, taken as part of a series of annual portraits of the outer planets of the solar system. The project was created to help current and future scientists see how these giant worlds change over the years. At the time, he revealed details never seen before on Jupiter, including a rare wave just north of the planet’s equator and a unique filamentous feature in the core of the Great Red Spot.
“Sharing the incomparable silent beauty of our planet with all our companions on this, our spaceship Earth,” Russian astronaut Sergei Ryazansky told the video. He shot the footage in this montage together with fellow ISS residents Paolo Nespoli from Italy and US Commander Randy Bresnik. Set on Paul Simon’s “Sound of Silence” by Disturbed, this 4K video shows you stunning footage of Earth from the International Space Station in low Earth orbit from August to October 2017.
6. Ocean Moon Glint and City Night Lights in 4K UHD
This video contains time-lapse images taken by NASA astronaut Jack Fisher of the International Space Station in 4K UHD. The video travels over the lunar glow of the Pacific Ocean and over the night lights of San Francisco, California, to Denver, Colorado. Lunar glare occurs when the light from the moon is reflected from the surface of the sea or ocean at an angle and creates a rare glare of light, not something you see every day.
7. Europe from space in 4K
With this offer, NASA allows you to travel around Southern Europe in just three minutes. Obviously, this is the time required when you have a 4K camera that orbits the Earth from 250 miles up. This ultra-high-definition video was shot in August 2016, when the International Space Station traveled nearly 1,000 miles, capturing views from the west coast of France to the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Switzerland, southern Germany and Austria, and the southern Balkan countries. peninsula.
This is a captivating little video to watch to bring home the full scale of the universe. On November 11, 2019 (11/11/19!), NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observed Mercury moving through the Sun. It is fascinating how tiny Mercury looks in the picture against the star. Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system, about 3,000 miles in diameter, but in this video it looks like just marble. The video cycles the variety of wavelengths of light that the Solar Dynamics Observatory filmed the event.
9. Flight through the field for ultra deep research CANDELS [Ultra-HD]
This stunning visualization takes us six billion light-years to traverse the CANDELS Ultra Deep Survey to show the various galaxies and their three-dimensional distribution, even though the distances have been reduced for cinematic purposes. CANDELS is short for the near-infrared deep extragalactic heritage space assembly project and is one of the largest projects ever made with the Hubble Space Telescope.
10. NASA Thermonuclear Art – The Sun in Ultra-HD (4K)
This absolutely mesmerizing video gives you about 30 minutes of footage from the sun’s surface. From images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which observes the star 24/7, these images were taken in 10 different wavelengths, each of which helps highlight different temperatures in the solar material. Observe to see streams of particles called solar winds, random eruptions of giant clouds of solar material called coronal mass ejections, and X-ray explosions called solar eruptions.
11. Earth: 4K extended edition
If you can’t get enough of Earth, this expanded reproduction of ultra-high-resolution views of our planet, captured by NASA astronaut Jeff Williams during his mission to the International Space Station in 2016, is for you. It offers full hour views from the ISS, where you can see the entire planet from 250 miles up. Williams is an excellent choice for comparing his favorite shots – he has spent over 530 days living and working on the ISS.
12. 4K video of colored liquid in space
Finally, an amusing one from the ISS itself. The astronauts of the International Space Station dissolved an effervescent tablet in a floating ball of water and captured images using a 4K camera. The Epic Dragon camera from RED, a digital cinema company, can capture fantastically high frame rates and super high quality resolution, creating some amazing effects.