You’ve never seen Earth look like this! Take a look at our planet as seen in this new pic from the ISS
Ever since science managed to put humans in space, we’ve been blessed with glorious images of the planet from the other side. And of course other magical sights from our solar system. Particularly the photos taken from the International Space Station (ISS) of Earth are truly something else. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, a new photo by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet completely blew us away.
Pesquet is an engineer with the European Space Agency and is currently in the ISS as one of the members of the Space X Crew-2 mission. He’s also a member of NASA’s Expedition 65 which launched to the station in April this year. This is Pesquet’s second spaceflight and he’s already become quite famous for clicking some surreal images of Earth. And the latest photo might just be his best yet.
Taken from the cupola of the ISS, Pesquet’s photo shows city lights battling it out with the light from the distant stars. The orange band you see in the photo is the emission of sodium atoms, approximately 90 kilometers above the planet’s surface, as astronomer Juan Carlos Munoz pointed out. If you look close enough, there's is also a faint green band that you can spot - this is created by oxygen atoms in an excited state.
As Pesquet explained in his photo caption, it is not easy to get a shot like this and he’s had his share of misses when it comes to taking these incredible photos. "Not only do you as a photographer have to stay extremely still holding the camera, but also the Space Station moves so fast that there will be some motion anyway," Pesquet wrote. The ISS is traveling at over 17,000 miles an hour and completes an orbit over the Earth every 90 minutes roughly, so to be able to take a good shot, it is all about timing. And the results are clearly worth it.
And if you are suitably impressed, you can also head over to Pesquet’s Flickr account to see some more incredible photos or see some of the stuff he frequently shares on Twiter.