July 22, 2012 at 10:17 PM ET
Eight months ago, we featured an eye-popping time-lapse video by German filmmaker Michael König as the "best of NASA's night lights" — but now New Mexico time-lapser Knate Myers has created another contender for the title.
Like König's compilation, Myers' four-minute odyssey wraps in multicolored auroral displays, glorious night passes over the world's cities, flashes of lightning and the heavenly whirl of the stars above. Far from detracting from the scene, the space station's solar arrays and other hardware add a sense of perspective in the foreground. As with any time-lapse video, this one shows to best advantage when it's at highest resolution and full-screen display — whether you go with YouTube or Vimeo.
We might have to rethink that earlier "best of" verdict. But really, is there any point anymore in declaring a time-lapse winner?
It turns out that there's a whole club on Vimeo devoted to turning imagery from the International Space Station into time-lapse views. And when you get right down to it, virtually all of this imagery comes from NASA's Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth, which offers its own selection of time-lapse space station videos. (This month NASA put up a humdinger showing the moon's shadow on Earth during May's annular solar eclipse.)
Rather than declaring a winner, I'm just going to point to some of the favorites — and declare that all the folks who work with imagery from space, and all the folks who enjoy that imagery, are the real winners here.
More winners in the orbital time-lapse category:
Alan Boyle is NBCNews.com's science editor. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the log's Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter and adding the Cosmic Log page to your Google+ presence. To keep up with Cosmic Log as well as NBCNews.com's other stories about science and space, sign up for the Tech & Science newsletter, delivered to your email in-box every weekday. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.