You’ve probably been curious about what it’s like to go on a space trip, haven’t you? From knowing how the Earth is seen from space, what the night is like outside the Earth’s orbit and even what natural phenomena are like a hurricane from an angle well above ours…
Astronauts and cosmonauts (as Russia calls its crew) who are on the ISS (International Space Station) recorded several of these moments throughout 2022. Tilt separated 15 of the most incredible photos taken by them and by the space laboratory.
1. Milky Way
At night, the ISS crew have a breathtaking view of the Milky Way. In the photo below, released by the space station, lightning flashes on Earth. Its light is so bright that it illuminated the space structure’s solar panels.
The war between Russia and Ukraine can also be seen from above. Images from the space station show all of Europe lit up and a Ukraine darkened after the Russian invasion.
3. Color diversity
Looking back at Earth, the crew can see even more color in the diversity of our planet’s landscapes. Like the Richat Structure, circular rock elevation located in the Sahara Desert, also known as the “Eye of the Sahara”, an eroded geological dome in Mauritania.
In Canada, the Manicouagan Crater, located in Quebec, is also visible from space. In this photo taken from the ISS, it appears prominently in the very center of the image.
5. Forest and sea
Maludam National Park in eastern Malaysia is made up of lowland forests and several rivers that flow into the South China Sea. Seen from above, it was impressive.
6. Lakes that resemble broken glass
Some landscapes seen from outside Earth orbit appear abstract, like Minnesota’s famous lakes at night, reminiscent of broken glass. The moon’s glare reflects off the lakes that straddle the US-Canada border between the state of Minnesota and the province of Ontario.
7. Brazil is also on the list
Images of Brazilian capitals were also recorded by astronauts aboard the ISS, at an altitude of around 420 km. The scenes below highlight Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Curitiba at night, well lit.
In the photo of Rio de Janeiro, it is possible to see the Rio-Niterói Bridge, several boats in Guanabara Bay, Ilha do Governador and, in the right corner of the image, Ilha de Paquetá. It is also noteworthy how the city of Rio de Janeiro is much brighter than Niterói and São Gonçalo, the municipalities “on the other side” of the bridge.
8. Curitiba “in reverse”
Curitiba’s image seems to be “upside down”. That’s because we are used to seeing geographic north at the top of the photos. In the photo taken from the ISS, north is on the right side. That’s where the city of Almirante Tamandaré is located. Below is São José dos Pinhais and the Afonso Pena airport.
9. São Paulo illuminated
In the photo of the capital of São Paulo, it is possible to see the difference in colors in the lights that illuminate São Paulo and Guarulhos, in the right corner. In the capital, the tone is more yellowish, while in the neighboring city, the lighting is more orange.
10. Hurricane Ian
Climate change and natural phenomena can also be seen from the space station and Hurricane Ian was one of them. The ISS flew over the hurricane as it approached Florida, USA.
11. Light show
Astronauts also enjoy stunning aurora shows at the North and South Poles. In this photo taken from the ISS, you can see a bright aurora crossing the Earth’s horizon above the Indian Ocean, northeast of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
12. Clouds are different from space
And the clouds? Have you ever wondered how they are seen from up there? The American astronaut Kayla Barron enchanted Internet users by sharing spectacular photos of Earth taken from the ISS on social networks, highlighting how different it is to see the clouds from above.
Kayla Barron is known for photographing space and events near Earth and the Moon, as well as details of her life aboard a spacecraft. She regularly shares these records on her Instagram.
13. Ice crystals
Russian cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov, who is on the ISS, also captured a breathtaking photo. The click, posted on his Twitter account, shows ice crystals in the shape of a waning moon forming on the glass of the space station. Just below, you can see a part of the Earth.
14 – Moon and Earth connected
Astronaut Mark Vande Hei also uses social media to share photos taken from the Space Station. In this he captured the Moon and Earth together from a very privileged angle.
15. Environmental damage
It’s not just beauty that can be seen from the ISS. Environmental damage caused by humans is also clear when viewed from miles away from Earth.
Lake Urmia in northwest Iran was once one of the largest saltwater lakes in the world. Today it is teeming with red algae because agriculture and man-made dams have drawn too much water from it, and the drought has depleted it further.