NASA has posted a video (above) featuring its top 20 Earth shots captured by astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS).
The breathtaking photos include glorious landscapes and sprawling cities, with others highlighting some of the challenges facing our planet, such as wildfires and extreme weather events.
Check out the dazzling Coopers Creek in southern Australia, and North America’s gorgeous Great Lakes snapped during another notoriously snowy winter. Moonrise over the southern Atlantic Ocean is an absolute stunner, as is the image of the sun coming up over Australia. Paris at night dazzles and delights from 250 miles up (just as it does at street level!), while the beautiful reefs of Moindou Bay in New Caledonia will no doubt have you wishing you were there right now.
“The men and women who live and work on the International Space Station take thousands of photographs of their home planet every year, and we asked the folks at the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA’s Johnson Space Center for a few of their favorites from 2020,” the space agency said in a tweet posted on Wednesday, December 30.
Among the space station’s current Expedition 64 crew, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi has fast been making a name for himself as a sharp shooter, posting a slew of sublime photos from the station’s seven-window Cupola observatory, which offers expansive views of Earth, the moon, and beyond. And with the ISS orbiting our planet 16 times a day at a speed of 17,500 mph, there are certain to be plenty of great photo opportunities for a camera-carrying astronaut watching from high above.
When Tim Peake stayed aboard the space station a few years back, the British astronaut showed off some of the space station’s camera gear, which at that time included five Nikon D4 bodies, and lenses such as a Nikkor 14-24mm, f2.8; Nikkor 28mm, f1.4; Sigma 50-500mm, f4.5-6.3; Nikkor 400mm, f2.8; and Nikkor 800mm, f5.6.
November 2020 marked 20 years of continuous human habitation aboard the ISS. You can find out more about how the ever-changing crew work, rest, and play on the orbiting laboratory by checking out these videos made aboard the station by the astronauts themselves.
- Watch the best bits from SpaceX’s historic all-civilian mission
- How to watch the all-civilian Inspiration4 crew return to Earth today
- First view from new Crew Dragon shows marble-like Earth
- Astronauts on the ISS are using augmented reality apps to help with repairs
- How to watch astronauts on a spacewalk at the ISS on Sunday