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You can see the International Space Station's view of Earth right now

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It's possible to see the International Space Station floating overhead if you have the right equipment and good timing, but have you ever wondered what it sees at any given moment? As of now, you won't have to. NASA has switched on the High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment, an internet stream that shows the station's view of our planet in real time; you can check it out below. Developed and run in part by high school students, it includes both multiple 720p camera feeds and the ISS crew's radio chatter.

The footage isn't always riveting -- HDEV will occasionally lose contact, and there isn't much to see when the station is on the dark side of the world. Even so, it should still serve a noble purpose. It's testing both the quality of Earth-facing cameras as well as their ability to survive high doses of radiation while in orbit. Once the experiment goes offline in October 2015, NASA will use the results to decide what cameras it uses on future missions. Don't be surprised if awe-inspiring views become a staple of spaceflight in the near future.

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