An American astronaut has shared a wonderfully unique image of Earth taken from the International Space Station (ISS).
Don Pettit, a three-time space visitor who currently has his feet on solid ground, posted the remarkable photo to his Twitter account on Monday.
It may not be obvious at first glance, or even second glance, but the long-exposure image (below) shows Earth through the windows of the space station’s Cupola module. If you look carefully towards the bottom left of the image, you’ll also see some beautiful Star Trails.
“Long exposure view of the Earth with a fisheye lens from the Dome, aboard the ISS,” the astronaut wrote in his tweet. “Below, city lights stream as orange streaks, and faint Star Trails showing the Earth’s rotation are visible in the lower left. Astrophotography can find exciting ways to combine science and art!”
Fish-eye lens long-exposure view of the Earth from the Cupola, aboard the @iss. Below, city lights flow as orange streaks, and faint star trails that show the Earth’s rotation are visible in the lower left. #astrophotography can find exciting ways to combine both science and art! pic.twitter.com/JwrFeZMl7v
— Don Pettit (@astro_Pettit) September 11, 2022
In the last few days, another Pettit’s images that shows Earth lights and Star Trails caused quite a stir online.
Pettit’s most recent space trip was in 2012, so space fans should be delighted that the experienced astronaut and keen astrophotographer is sharing some of the extraordinary images he captured all those years ago.
While Pettit’s work can be beautifully surreal, more recent inhabitants of the ISS have been sharing images of Earth that more clearly show various features of land and sea.
With its seven windows, the Cupola module offers the best views of Earth and beyond from the far reaches of the space station. This makes it a popular place for astronauts to go and relax during their downtime.
But the largely unobstructed views also make the Dome an important workplace, as astronauts can use it to monitor and assist not only spacewalks, but also the arrival and departure of spacecraft.