Watch the World Float by the International Space Station’s New HD Webcam

Four HD cameras are streaming amazing, serene views of Earth…back to Earth

Sunrise as seen from the ISS earlier today. NASA/UStream

Last week NASA switched on the latest and greatest in Earth-from-space viewing technology. The High Definition Earth Viewing experiment, a suite of high-definition cameras mounted to the International Space Station, streams back the view from on high around the clock. It's a far more realistic way to see the world like an astronaut than the flashy timelapses and montages that we're used to seeing.

Instead of feeling like you're zooming over the planet at warp speed, the view from the HD Earth Viewing cameras is almost blissfully boring. Aside from a few camera cuts and losses of signal, the stream is quite serene.

Objectively, NASA says that the mission's purpose is to test and assess how well the cameras work in space. But we wouldn't hold it against you for thinking the whole thing was designed to provide a near-constant stream of eye candy.

The ISS zips around the Earth at such a clip that there's a good chance the cameras will be on the dark side of the planet, so the viewable feed is sort of intermittent. Then again the view doesn't really change that much. If you need a window to look out and daydream, NASA's archives of earlier footage should serve just as well.

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