Watch stunning sunrise from the International Space Station

Video: Footage shows the sun rising over Italy, Greece, Turkey and the Balkans

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The Independent Online

Astonishing footage of the sun rising over Earth has been released by the International Space Station (ISS).

The time-lapse video was filmed on March 21 and released by ISS this week, showing breath-taking scenes from space as the sun slowly emerges over countries such as Italy, Greece and Turkey.

The video shows that the earth never appears completely dark. That's because of something called airglow, which gives the Earth's horizon a green aura. Airglow is when the Earth's atmosphere emits light which in turn creates an optical phenomenon that makes the planet never look totally dark.

The scene is one Nasa astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will get used to: the pair are preparing to spend a one-year mission in space from this Friday. Most expeditions to the ISS last between four to six months, but Kelly and Kornienko will double that amount - thus breaking space history.

The longest mission on the space station was set by Michael Lopez-Alegria Mikhail Tyurin, who were on ISS for over seven months in 2006-07.

Kelly's 342 days on the ISS will bring his tally of days in space to 522, thus beating the record of fellow American Mike Fincke, who spent a total of 381 days in space.