European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst returned to Earth in November 2014 after five and a half months aboard the International Space Station. While conducting more than 50 experiments in space, Gerst also frequently set his cameras to automatically take pictures at regular intervals. He eventually combined 12,500 of his own spectacular space photographs of neon green unfurling auroras, vivid sunrises, enigmatic cloud patterns, hurricanes, stars, oceans, the Milky Way, and the visible functioning parts of ISS itself into a dazzling photo montage, released this week by the European Space Agency.
The earth shines like a precious jewel against the void blackness of space, reminding us all once again of just how delicate life really is, and what a rare and inconceivable treasure that we have been given to be alive upon this whirling blue marble, hung in it’s orbit around the sun like a sparkling Christmas ornament. God bless this frail and troubled world, and the struggling warlike human species which lives on it. May these confused creatures grow quickly in spiritual understanding, to learn and soon appreciate just how rare and vulnerable life in the universe really is, that they might learn to treasure it, and stop endlessly warring and killing each other in their ignorance.