While you’re curled up comfy in your bed each night, the crew of the International Space Station is getting unrivaled views of our planet. For anyone wishing they could see what the astronauts see, here are recent videos of the Earth at night taken from space.

These spectacular videos feature city lights piercing the darkness like shining beacons announcing the extent of human habitation. But they also include incredible natural phenomena — such as ethereal auroras, shimmering lightning, and the silvery Milky Way — which surpass anything created by man.

These videos are actually compilations combining hundreds of still images in order to give a good approximation of what the ISS crew sees as they fly over the Earth. Most of them are taken in sequences of one frame per second, closely resembling the true speed of the station in orbit.

Above:

U.S. East Coast

This video from Jan. 29 features glowing nighttime lights along the Atlantic Coast of North America. Starting near the Gulf of Mexico, the ISS passes over recognizable cities such as New Orleans, Jacksonville, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and New York City. With the aurora borealis shining in the background, it ends with a view of Newfoundland and northern Canada.

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