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Thunderstorm from space captured in dramatic video from ISS

Private astronaut Marcus Wandt has shared a dramatic video captured from the International Space Station (ISS) showing a thunderstorm from above.

The footage (below) shows numerous flashes among clouds in what looks to have been a ferocious storm.

“Thunderstorms are powerful and beautiful phenomena to witness, also from space,” Wandt wrote in an online post that included the video clip.

Thunderstorms are powerful and beautiful phenomena to witness, also from space. ⚡

I was lucky to catch a pretty spectacular thunderstorm during my first session with the Thor-Davis experiment from the @Space_Station.

We hope to help scientists to better understand…

— Marcus Wandt (@astro_marcus) February 13, 2024

Wandt said he witnessed the storm while working on the Thor-Davis experiment, which is testing a new camera concept in space for more detailed observations of thunderclouds and also investigating how lightning in the upper atmosphere might affect the concentration of greenhouse gasses.

The setup comprises a Davis 346 neuromorphic camera mounted on top of a Nikon D5 DSLR camera for handheld operation, with the two cameras controlled by an AstroPi unit based on a Raspberry Pi computer board.

Wandt was part of the four-person Axiom-3 crew that spent time aboard the ISS in a mission organized by Texas-based Axiom Space. The first all-European private mission returned to Earth on February 9.

The stay lasted just over two weeks, and Wandt spent much of his time working on various science experiments in microgravity conditions. He also earned a reputation for having a keen eye, snapping stunning shots of Earth captured from the ISS as it passed over various geographical wonders — when thunderclouds didn’t obscure them, that is. Wandt also used his camera to explore the interior of the space-based laboratory, sharing some original and creatively shot images during his time in orbit.

Want to learn more about life aboard the International Space Station? These videos, created by various astronauts over the years, share insights into things like how to exercise in orbit and other activities such as getting a haircut, grabbing a coffee, and using the bathroom — all trickier procedures than on Earth due to the lack of gravity.

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