Skip to main content

Check out this stunning Earth image captured by an astronaut

Besides working on science experiments, conducting spacewalks, and dealing with the occasional space-based emergency, astronauts aboard the International Space Station also get to enjoy jaw-dropping views of Earth from 250 miles up.

Some of the astronauts also like to photograph the scenery and share those images with folks down here on terra firma.

Related Videos

Current ISS crew member Thomas Pesquet has been posting lots of incredible images since arriving at the orbiting outpost in April 2021. His latest stunning effort, shared on Wednesday, August 4, shows a golden sunset reflection.

“Good evening from space! A beautiful sunset reflection off our blue marble,” Pesquet wrote in a comment accompanying the extraordinary photo.

Au crépuscule l'océan baigne dans les tons chauds du soleil, si ce n'est pour quelques ombres de ☁️ à sa surface #whatelse Bonne soirée à tous depuis la Station !

Good evening from space! A beautiful sunset reflection off our blue marble#MissionAlpha

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) August 4, 2021

Pesquet captured the image using a Nikon D5 DSLR camera at 95mm using a 50-500mm zoom lens, for those interested in the details. The shutter fired at a rapid 1/2000 of a second. The aperture and ISO were set at f/8 and 200.

And if Pesquet’s sunset image alone isn’t enough to feast your eyes upon, then how about these gorgeous aurora australis photos that landed on the space station’s Twitter account on Wednesday?

The aurora australis is spectacular in these views from the station above the Indian Ocean in between Asia and Antarctica.

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) August 5, 2021

According to the accompanying data, these images were also taken with the Nikon D5 at 58mm at a speed of about half a second. The aperture was f/1.2 while the ISO was set at 12800.

For more amazing images snapped from the space station, check out this collection of shots also taken by Pesquet showing an impressive range of landscapes from around the world.

Fellow crew member Shane Kimbrough has also shown that he too has an eye for a good Earth shot, recently sharing these remarkable Mars-like images that in reality show Saudi Arabian sand dunes.

Although the station’s 90-minute orbit of Earth means the scenery below is always rapidly changing, it’s fair to say that camera-wielding astronauts still need a good eye to find a great shot.

The pictures you see here will most likely have been taken from inside the space station’s Cupola, a seven-window module that offers astronauts panoramic views of Earth and space.

Keen photographers aboard the ISS can choose from a wide range of cameras and lenses, with most of the equipment supplied by Nikon.

Editors' Recommendations

James Webb captures stunning image of star formation in nearby galaxy
NGC 346, shown here in this image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), is a dynamic star cluster that lies within a nebula 200,000 light years away. Webb reveals the presence of many more building blocks than previously expected, not only for stars, but also planets, in the form of clouds packed with dust and hydrogen. 

A stunning new image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows a stellar nursery called NGC 346, which is not only beautiful but is also leading astronomers to rethink their theories about how stars and planets could have formed in the early universe.

The star cluster NGC 346 is a busy region full of star formation and is located in the nearby Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The composition of the Small Magellanic Cloud is rather different from that of the Milky Way, as it has fewer heavier elements. As dust is typically composed of these heavier elements, astronomers thought that there would be less dust in the Small Magellanic Cloud -- but that's not what Webb found.

Read more
Enjoy NASA’s ‘best images’ of science on space station in 2022
NASA astronaut Kayla Barron checks plants growing inside the space station's Veggie facility.

It’s been a busy year for the International Space Station (ISS).

Orbiting about 250 miles above Earth, the ISS has welcomed new astronauts and bid farewell to others, conducted 12 spacewalks, hosted NASA’s first paying tourists, dodged hazardous debris, and experienced a serious leak from a docked spacecraft.

Read more
How to watch two U.S. astronauts on a spacewalk on Thursday
Expedition 65 flight engineer and Roscosmos cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov, pictured during a spacewalk to perform work on the Pirs docking compartment.

NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV

UPDATE: Wednesday's spacewalk was postponed after orbital debris was spotted close to the station. A new date for the walk has been set for Thursday, December 22. Details below.

Read more