ISS astronaut captures beautiful image of Earth’s edge

Thomas Pesquet, an engineer for the European Space Agency (ESA), is a member of NASA’s Expedition 65, which has been on the International Space Station (ISS) since April. In his second spaceflight, the Frenchman is famous for delivering some absolutely surreal images of Earth.

This is the case with this impressive photograph taken by him directly from the ISS dome.


In this image of Earth, we can see the lights of cities “dueling” with the light of distant stars. The orange band around the planet is, according to astronomer Juan Carlos Munoz, the emission of sodium atoms, approximately 90 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. There is also a faint green band just beyond it, which is created by oxygen atoms being excited.

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Earth’s edge imaging required concentration and almost zero movement

According to Pesquet, it’s not easy to get a photograph like that. “Not only do you, as a photographer, have to be extremely still holding the camera, but also the Space Station moves so fast that there will be some movement anyway,” he explains in the photo caption. The ISS is traveling at more than 17,000 miles per hour and completes an orbit over the Earth every 90 minutes or so.

It’s a busy time on the ISS, with the third SpaceX Crew-3 mission slated to launch in late October, kicking off the station’s Expedition 66.

On that occasion, Pesquet will take over as commander, when the four-person crew on the Crew-3 mission will join the others. Expedition 66 will also have two Russian civilians, film director Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild, to shoot scenes from a movie called The Challenge.

With information from the Cnet.

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