A series of amazing time-lapse videos of Earth have been released by the European Space Agency. Combining 12,500 images taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst during his six-month Blue Dot mission on the International Space Station, this incredible video shows the best our beautiful planet has to offer.

Marvel at the auroras, sunrises, clouds, stars, oceans, the Milky Way, the International Space Station, lightning, cities at night, spacecraft and the thin band of atmosphere that protects us from space.

Often while conducting scientific experiments or docking spacecraft Gerstwould set cameras to automatically take pictures at regular intervals. Combining these images gives the time-lapse effect seen in this video.

Video courtesy of the European Space Agency/Alexander Gerst