12 absolutely stunning photos of Earth taken from space.

I'm just gonna go ahead and say that the ISS might just be the greatest photography vantage point ever.

Astronaut Tim Peake just posted an incredible time-lapse video of what a lightning storm over Earth looks like from space.

GIF via Tim Peake/Facebook.


Captured by the International Space Station (ISS) as it passed over Turkey on its way to Russia, the video offers a breathtaking portrait of what it looks like to live in space — in fact, it makes "Interstellar" look like a middle-school science project gone awry.

"Amazing how much lightning can strike our planet in a short time," Peake wrote on Facebook.

Peake's video is just the latest in an extraordinary series of images the ISS has given us over the years. In fact, there are many more pictures of our Earth from space, too. Check 'em out:

1. London at night.

All photos via NASA.

Speaking of Peake, the British astronaut first headed to space in December 2015 and has been regularly posting brilliant images and videos to his Instagram ever since. A former British Army Air Corps officer and the first British European Space Agency astronaut, Peake uploaded this photo of his native London at night on Jan. 31, 2016. Kind of the defeats the notion that England is all gray clouds and fog, doesn't it?

2. The aurora borealis.

Believe it or not, some astronauts are actually trained in photography as part of their preparation for traveling into outer space. Among them is current ISS Commander Scott Kelly, who took this photo with Peake on Jan. 20, 2016.

"Getting a photo masterclass from @StationCDRKelly – magical," Peake wrote on Twitter.

Sign me up.

3. Earth art from Australia.

Not to be outdone, Commander Kelly posted this photo during a flyover of Australia back in October 2015 as part of a 17 photo series. G'day, indeed.

4. Fan art from Australia.

Of course, you don't have to be a professional photographer — or even an astronaut, apparently — to take some stunning space photos. This image of the northwest corner of Australia "was snapped by a student on Earth after remotely controlling the Sally Ride EarthKAM aboard the International Space Station," according to NASA.

5. Fingerprints of water on the sand.

Photographs taken from the ISS serve a much greater purpose beyond simply being gorgeous to look at. In rain-deprived areas like Oman, where this photo was snapped by NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, there are thousands of people who lack access to clean water on a daily basis. By teaming with local aid organizations, NASA is able to discover previously untapped water sources and provide these at-risk areas with water purification technology used onboard the ISS.

6. The eye of the storm.

Another benefit of space photography: incredibly precise storm-tracking. Kelly took this photo of Hurricane Danny as the ISS orbited over the central Atlantic Ocean. So again, there's more than just a bunch of pretty views going on here, people...

7. Those views, though.

...which is not to say that ISS astronauts aren't able to capture some remarkable images, like this shot of British Columbia's Coast Mountains taken by Tim Peake on Jan. 5, 2016.

8. The ultimate skybox.

Kelly snapped This photo of Levi's Stadium on the evening of Super Bowl 50. Think of it as the ultimate skybox, if you will. I can only imagine how Eli Manning would've reacted to this.

9. Starry night.

Here's a photo of England, the Baltic Sea, and the Persian Gulf captured by Samantha Cristoforetti. I'd guess this one would have given Vincent Van Gogh a heart attack (ack-ack-ack).

10. Sunrise.

Can't ... look ... away ... too ... awesome...

11. America, the beautiful.

I don't know if it's even possible, but I want this picture on my gravestone. SOMEONE FIGURE OUT THE LOGISTICS FOR ME.

12. EPIC space selfies.

The commander himself, Scott Kelly.

Your move, Ellen DeGeneres.

Aside from doing some of the world's most prestigious whisky-aging, the ISS might just be the greatest photography vantage point ever as well.

Peake's video has already been viewed almost 1 million times on Facebook since being posted on Tuesday, and thousands of eager parents have flooded their social media pages to thank both Peake and Kelly for inspiring their children, too.

This is just another reason to reach for the stars, kids. Because one day, you might actually get to touch them.

Check out the full video here:

More

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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