Skip to main content

Gorgeous ISS capture shows Caribbean and curvature of Earth

NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn has shared a breathtaking image taken from the International Space Station (ISS) showing the curvature of Earth as well as part of the Caribbean.

A view of the Caribbean from the International Space Station.

Marshburn captured the photo during a spacewalk last month before sharing it on Twitter at the weekend.

In his tweet, the experienced astronaut described the Caribbean Sea, with its beautiful blue colors, as “a candidate for the second favorite view of the Earth from space,” adding that an astronaut’s favorite view is of course the one of their home nation.

A candidate for the second favorite view of the Earth from space: the Caribbean Sea, seen here during a spacewalk below the @JAXA_en external experiment platform. Everyone’s favorite view? Their home country!

— Thomas H. Marshburn (@AstroMarshburn) January 7, 2022

Those familiar with the Caribbean should be able to spot southeast Cuba at the bottom of Marshburn’s shot, though the country’s capital city of Havana is obscured by the station’s solar arrays.

The picture was captured around 250 miles above Earth, with the wide view showing off the curvature of Earth. As Marshburn points out in his tweet, the image also includes Japan’s external experiment platform, seen to the right of the photo.

Marshburn took the image during his fifth spacewalk, with his previous four taking place during ISS visits in 2013 and 2009. The American astronaut spent 6 hours and 32 minutes outside the station together with his colleague, Kayla Barron, who was on her very first spacewalk.

The pair arrived at the ISS in November along with NASA’s Raja Chari and Matthias Maurier of the European Space Agency. They’ll stay aboard the orbiting outpost for around six months, returning in late April.

While astronauts aboard the ISS spend most of their time working on science experiments, occasional spacewalks are also essential for maintaining and upgrading the station, with the unique vantage point also providing an excellent opportunity for Earth observation work and photo captures.

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet regularly posted amazing Earth shots during a recent stay at the ISS, and he also took time out to explain the kind of planning required to capture the impressive images.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
A spacecraft at the ISS is about to take a very short trip
The Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft is seen approaching the Poisk module of the space station prior to docking at 7:58 p.m. EST as the space station was flying 260 miles above northern Mongolia.

Three astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) are about to take a very short ride aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.

In a maneuver designed to make room for the arrival of the Roscosmos Progress 84 cargo spacecraft later this year, astronaut Frank Rubio of NASA, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, will this week hop aboard the Soyuz MS-23 capsule and pilot it from the Poisk module on the space-facing side of the complex to the Prichal module on the Earth-facing side of the outpost.

Read more
NASA and Boeing reveal new date for first crewed Starliner flight
A graphic rendering of the Boeing Starliner orbiting Earth.

NASA and Boeing had been hoping to perform the first crewed flight of the Starliner spacecraft next month, but on Wednesday they announced the mission will now take place no earlier than Friday, July 21.

“While the Starliner spacecraft build is complete, additional time is needed to close out verification and validation work prior to the system’s first flight with crew on board,” Boeing said in a statement posted on its website.

Read more
A crew capsule just landed on Earth. But why was it empty?
The damaged Soyuz MS-22 departs the space station for the voyage home.

Soyuz spacecraft regularly bring crew home from the International Space Station (ISS), but the one that returned on Tuesday had three empty seats.

In what’s thought to be the first voyage of its kind, Soyuz MS-22 undocked from the space station without any crew and took two hours to reach its landing spot in Kazakhstan following an automated, parachute-assisted descent.

Read more