A sunrise showcases the Earth's thin, thin atmosphere.

Yet the station remains an abstract concept when compared to something as concrete as a rocket launch or a space shuttle.

But even these views are limited in scope and clarity.

For me, then, the true star of A Beautiful Planet is not Earth—with its storms, continents, volcanoes, coral reefs, and city lights—or even the Aurora Borealis, but the International Space Station, revealed in its glory by a Canon EOS C500 4K Digital Cinema Camera and EOS-1D C 4K cameras.

These three astronauts provide A Beautiful Planet with much of its commentary, but others—such as NASA s Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly, Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency—appear as well.

Little time was set aside in the crew s schedules to capture footage, so much of what we see was shot outside of the long hours the crew spend each day tending to the station, working on experiments, or exercising to ensure they don t lose too much muscle while in free fall.

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