Vine, an online service that allows you to “say” a whole lot more thanks to a short clip, has just made history today. American astronaut Reid Wiseman, who is famous for his Twitter handle @astro_reid, has just sent the world’s very first Vine – from space, that is. The half dozen seconds of video allows the ordinary layperson an opportunity to share a view that only a privileged few are able to enjoy in real life, that is, the sun which never sets. I guess it is a slice of the British Empire up there, eh?
Basically, whenever the International Space Station (ISS) goes through a 92-minute orbit around the earth simply by flying parallel to “the terminator line,” which is an imaginary line that marks the separation between night and day on the planet, it does seem as though the sun would not set.
Astronomy enthusiast Bob King shares, “The terminator is the boundary between day and night on the planet, and the equator cuts perpendicular to the axis. The space station’s tipped orbit places it very near the terminator this time of year, high enough for it to catch the sun’s rays all night long.”