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Moon, Mercury and Mars rise in haunting space time-lapse

An International Space Station astronaut captures a wondrous view of Venus, Mars, Mercury and the moon rising over Earth's horizon.

Astronauts on board the International Space Station experience moonrises a little differently than we do down on the planet's surface. Paolo Nespoli from the European Space Agency captured a splendid time-lapse video of the moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus and the bright star Regulus rising over Earth.

Nespoli filmed the footage on Sept. 18 and the ESA released the finished video last week. It gives a meditative perspective on the view from space. 

The ESA annotated the video to help viewers track what's happening. It starts with Venus as a small pinpoint of light against the dark of space. That planet is followed by the fainter dot of of the star Regulus (found in the Leo constellation). Next, Mars and Mercury become visible. The moon then rises over the brightening horizon, the perspective making it look much bigger than the planets.

If you look carefully at the top of the screen, you can see a small part of the space station in view. 

Nespoli is currently in the middle of a five-month stay on board the ISS. The space station's velocity means astronauts see a sunrise roughly every 90 minutes. Spectacular views like this time-lapse are one of the perks of being in orbit.