Expedition 30 astronauts on board the International Space Station shot this high-definition sequence on December 29, 2011 during a 19-minute pass starting over central Africa and crossing to the South Indian Ocean. The starry band of the Milky Way is plainly visible, and Comet Lovejoy can be seen very faintly in the center of the frame (about halfway through) while storms flash below. The pass ends as the sun is rising over the dark ocean. Follow Expedition 30 astronaut Don Pettit's blog at blogs.airspacemag.com/pettit.
Video: ISS Expedition 30 Crew (0:22)