They happen really fast, the sunrises. Sometimes you specifically set the alarm on your watch to go watch the sunrise. And as you pull yourself down into the floor – and that’s where the huge, bulging window is, that we call the cupola – and there’s the world glowing dark underneath you. And you start to see a few faint tinges of a sunrise coming as it starts to light the upper atmosphere, and then bam. The sun just pops into view, roars into view, because we’re coming around the world at it so fast.

And you can actually watch the sun move away from the Earth. And the light from it initially comes through the atmosphere. So the whole station glows with the light of dawn, with – all the big solar arrays glow blood red, and then orange. And then, as the sun clears the atmosphere, and it’s directly on us, then they settle down to sort of an iridescent blue. And then you can see the dawn come across the world towards you.

And then you go back to work and wait another 92 minutes, and it happens again. It’s not to be missed, and I tried to watch as many sunrises and sunsets as the work would allow.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield talks to Terry Gross.  (via npr)
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