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This is What Yesterday’s Equinox Looked Like from Space


Over the past 24 hours, the Earth has been experiencing its autumnal equinox. That is, the length of day and night across the globe was the same due to the sun hitting the earth at just the right angle to align its shade perfectly with the Earth’s spin axis.

And thanks to the photographic work of Russian satellite Elektro-L, we get an awesome (albeit quick) view of this bi-annual occurrence from a pretty spectacular vantage point: space.

The time-lapse was captured last year and is a mere five seconds long, but it encapsulates the full 24 hours of the autumnal equinox, with each image being taken 30 minutes apart totaling 48 images throughout the day. For not interested in pressing play over and over can check out the repeating GIF below instead.

If you’re wondering what that glare chasing the shadow is, that’s the sun glinting off our oceans. It’s also worth noting that this is a combination of visible light and near infrared, with the NIR colored to give the Earth a more natural looking hue.

(via APOD)