Technology has come a long way since the 1969 moon landing, providing us with longer space missions and more advanced systems. While the Apollo 11 mission only lasted a total of eight days, now we have expeditions to the International Space Station lasting as long as seven months, and a planned 2 1/2 year expedition to Mars. One of the most exciting advancements, however, is the ability for us Earth-bound folks to communicate with astronauts and see the gorgeous sights of outer space.

See illuminated cities, lightning storms and auroras from this recent time-lapse taken aboard the International Space Station:

Unlike some other ISS time-lapses around, this video includes several vantage points that highlight the truly international efforts to create the station. There are scenes with the Earth captured in the center of the Italian-built Cupola, which features the largest window ever used in space, as well as other scenes that highlight the Japanese Kibo module and the space station in its entirety.

via Boing Boing

Main image and video credit: NASA