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Check out these awesome Earth photos taken by a current ISS astronaut

After arriving at the International Space Station (ISS) in April 2021, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet was quick to grab the onboard cameras and start snapping photos of Earth some 250 miles below.

The French astronaut’s efforts have so far been nothing short of stunning, highlighting the magnificent array of landscapes that make our planet so special.

These are some of Pesquet’s efforts from his first few weeks on board the space station. With his stay scheduled to last another five months, we can expect to see plenty more awesome images from the astronaut.

The first image in this series shows the west coast of Africa beside the deep blue Atlantic Ocean.

I like when our trajectory leads us along a coast (West Africa here). Like sailing on a ship and flying in an airplane combined… best of both worlds! #MissionAlpha

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 5, 2021

In this shot taken over Canada, Pesquet compares the ice formations to clouds.

From space you get another perspective. Looking at the ice in this lake in #Canada I see shapes… like when looking at clouds on Earth. ☁ #MissionAlpha

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 7, 2021

Here we see Russia’s docked Soyuz spacecraft as the ISS passes over Cuba.

A view that brings back memories, the Soyuz that brought me to the @Space_Station in 2016 for #Proxima was docked to the exact same port. This one is @novitskiy_iss's, Pyotr's and @Astro_Sabot's, flying over Cuba. #MissionAlpha

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 10, 2021

Look carefully at this image, and you’ll spot a tiny town on the coast of northwest Africa.

Un des rares ports avant l’immensité du désert, dans le Sahara occidental. Deux routes fendent l’intérieur des terres, une autre longe l'océan, et c’est tout ☀
A town on the northwest coast of Africa. A road goes inland, and a road follows the ocean.

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 10, 2021

Check out Pesquet’s impressive night shot of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Mecca! So bright at night that it ended up overexposed, as I wanted to see the city lights too. Happy end of Ramadan!

La Mecque ! Elle brillait si fort que la photo est un peu surexposée, mais je voulais absolument qu'on voit les lumières de la ville. Joyeuse fête ! #EidMubarak

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 12, 2021

Here we see the Quiberon Peninsula, a popular tourist spot located about 260 miles west of Paris.

I remember taking a picture of the Quiberon peninsular during #Proxima. It is funny to think that I recognise the area easily from space whereas unfortunately I didn't get to visit it for real before #MissionAlpha! #Bretagne

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 13, 2021

This one is an absolute stunner, showing the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau.

Guinea Bissau 🇬🇼, that I haven't seen since my last mission four years ago (no I didn't visit all the places I photograph from space, unfortunately! #MissionAlpha

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 14, 2021

Pesquet took this photo of the enormous Upsala Glacier, located about 450 miles northwest of Cape Horn, the southernmost land point of South America.

The Upsala glacier in Argentina. The majestic spectacle with slow ice waves that flow into the blue water is beautiful – but also worrying as we can see the glaciers are getting smaller from space. #MissionAlpha #ClimateChange #EarthFocus

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 15, 2021

Look closely at this image of Key West, and you’ll see the star-shaped airfield at the local naval air station.

The famous #KeyWest and the special Highway 1 that hops from island to island all the way south. The Naval Air Station Key West base is remarkable with its star-shaped airfield. #MissionAlpha

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 15, 2021

Here is a trio of gorgeous shots showing different places in Asia.

Spring has not taken over all of the northern hemisphere – three examples in Asia where snow can still be found. ❄ #MissionAlpha

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 16, 2021

There are more amazing colors in Pesquet’s photo showing part of Africa’s Sahara desert.

Hints of red and ochre, grey rocks and white clouds, flying over the Sahara (a plateau in #Chad here) is never boring. @astro_luca called it the skin of the Earth I think, and he is right, it does resemble skin. #MissionAlpha

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 17, 2021

Finally, this photo shows part of Africa’s White Nile, which, as Pesquet notes, is actually blue.

More #EarthArt around the White Nile, which is obviously blue in reality 🙂

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 18, 2021

For more impressive Earth photos shot from the ISS, be sure to check out this collection of images taken by recent station visitor Soichi Noguchi.

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)…
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