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Watch this stunningly beautiful ultra HD time-lapse video from the International Space Station

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If you’re a fan of epic ultra high definition time-lapse videos from space — and really who isn’t — then you’ll be happy to know that Christmas arrived early and Hannukah is right on time. The European Space Agency has stiched together more than five months of astronaut Alexander Gerst’s time-lapse photography from the International Space Station (ISS) and made it into a six-minute video.

Gerst spent 166 days in orbit starting in late May on the ISS as one of five flight engineers, all part of the European Space Agency’s aptly named mission, Blue Dot. Luckily for us mere mortals, he also had an excellent photographic eye and captured some pretty spectacular views as the ISS hurtled around the planet at 17,200 mph, making more than 15 laps each day.

Lightning from space looks like daubs of electric paint atop of clouds. Large-scale weather patterns including spinning areas of low pressure look just like they do on weather maps. The aurora takes on the appearance of a shimmering green curtain draped around the high latitudes of Earth. And day and night on the horizon of Gerst and his fellow astronaut’s view, the crystaline strip of the atmosphere — the one we’re filling with greenhouse gases — is clearly visible, separating those of us back on planet Earth from the rest of the universe.

But lest you think it’s all eye candy and fodder for philosophical musings, there are also a few hidden insights into how the various apparati that ensure the ISS can sustain the astronauts that call it home. Solar panels rotate to catch the most sun and keep all systems up and running. At the 1:35 mark, a robotic arm extends to pluck a Cygnus spacecraft — one of the commercial spacecraft that help supply the ISS — out of, well, space. After collecting its payload, the same arm releases it on its homeward journey at the 4:50 mark. It truly looks like science fiction.

So go ahead, ratchet the video up to ultra high definition and enjoy each one of the 12,500 images it took to create it. And let it not go unnoted that the European Space Agency also found some pretty futuristic background music for the video. Hope you’re taking notes, NASA.

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Originally published at Climate Central

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Matt Gaetz gets laughed at after his attempt to derail Mueller hearing hilariously backfires

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tried to turn the latest hearing on special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election into a hearing on border security -- and then got hilariously shut down by one of the panelists.

During his allotted time, Gaetz changed the subject away entirely from the Mueller report and decided to grill one of the witnesses for her views on border security.

In particular, Gaetz asked Carrie Cordero, a Robert M. Gates senior fellow and general counsel at the Center for New American Security, about her work writing about the security problems posed by Mexican drug cartels.

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Lindsey Graham shoves Trump toward war: ‘Anyone would believe we’re one step closer’

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President Donald Trump seemed to try and deescalate the situation between Iran and the U.S. in wake of the former shooting down an American drone. But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) seems to be shoving the president toward war.

"I think anybody would believe that we’re one step closer" [to war], Graham told the press in the hallways of Congress Thursday. "They shot down an American asset, well within international waters -- trying to assess the situation. What are you supposed to do?"

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Fireworks erupt at latest Mueller hearing as chairman Jerry Nadler schools GOP’s Jim Jordan

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A feisty Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) schooled Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for blatantly misstating facts about the investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.

After Jordan went on a lengthy diatribe against the FBI for supposedly relying on the Steele dossier to launch an investigation against the Trump campaign, Nadler jumped in to formally correct the record.

"It is well established that the investigation was not predicated on the Steele dossier, but rather on the observation of..." Nadler began.

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