ISS Envy: Breathtaking Views of Earth

View of Aurora from ISS

Normally, we look up at amazing auroras, but the ISS crew is fortunate enough to have and captures auroras like this to give us an entirely different perspective of the phenomena. Photo #1 by NASA

Durrat Al Bahrain

Durrat Al Bahrain photographed by an Expedition 26 crew member on the International Space Station. At the southern end of Bahrain Island is a new complex of 14 artificial islands designed for residential living and tourism with luxury hotels and shopping malls. The Durrat Al Bahrain includes 21 square kilometers of new surface area—for more than 1,000 residences—that has been designed as The Islands. There are six “atolls” leading off five fish-shaped “petals,” but we thought the one of the lower right looks a bit like Pacman. Views from jet liners at high altitude—and orbital platforms such as the International Space Station—are the only ways to fully appreciate these spectacular sights. Photo #2 by NASA

Eruption of Cleveland Volcano, Aleutian Islands, Alaska is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 13 crewmember on the ISS

Eruption of Cleveland Volcano, Aleutian Islands, Alaska is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 13 crewmember on the ISS. Visitors to outer space continually get to be awed by nature’s beauty on Earth, but they also have a ringside seat for all flavors of natural disasters. Photo #3 by NASA

Northwestern Europe August 10, 2011 as seen by ISS

Northwestern Europe bright city lights on August 10, 2011 as seen by ISS. Photo #4 by NASA / GSFC

Russian Soyuz Spacecraft from ISS

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft, docked to the International Space Station, is featured in this image photographed on 31 Jan. 2011 by an ISS Expedition 26 crew member. A blue and white part of Earth and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the scene. Photo #5 by NASA

Perdizes, Minas Gerais, Brazil as seen from ISS

Agricultural fields near Perdizes, Minas Gerais, Brazil as seen from the space station. Photo #6 by NASA

Room With a View - Window on the World

Room With a View – Window on the World. An Expedition 26 crew member used a fish-eye lens to capture this image of the Cupola of the International Space Station on (27 Jan. 2011). Photo #8 by NASA

Heart of Central Asia

Heart of Central Asia. Photo #9 by USGS / NASA

Wildfires with smoke plumes faintly visible in the night sky of Australia

Wildfires with smoke plumes faintly visible in the night sky of Australia. The gold / green halo is atmospheric airglow hanging above the horizon. Photo #10 by NASA / USGS

Agricultural crops in Aragon and Catalonia

Agricultural crops in Aragon and Catalonia. This image of north-eastern Spain looks a bit like a geometric hopscotch or an agricultural quilt covering the Earth. Photo #11 by KARI (Korea Aerospace Research Institute)

ISS shot of Earth's Moon

ISS shot of Earth’s Moon. Photo #12 by NASA

Jules Verne ATV following undocking from the ISS

Jules Verne ATV after undocking from the ISS. Backdropped by a blue and white Earth, ESA’s Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle (lower left) appears to be very small as it continues its relative separation from the International Space Station. Photo #13 by NASA

Grand Canyon from ISS

We looked at the Grand Canyon from an on-Earth perspective, but looking down at the Grand Canyon from the ISS and outer space is completely different. Photo #14 by NASA

Rainbow over the equatorial Pacific

It’s very faint, but the ISS crew captured this rainbow over the equatorial Pacific. Photo #15 by NASA / Visible Earth

Indianapolis raceway racetrack

ISS shot of the Indianapolis raceway. Photo #16 by NASA

International Space Station March 2011

International Space Station March 2011. Photo #17 by NASA

Sunrise 1 of 16 sunrises ISS astronauts see everyday

This is but 1 of 16 sunrises ISS astronauts see everyday! On Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, International Space Station astronaut Ron Garan used a high definition camera to film the rising sun as the station flew along a path between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo #18 by NASA

Lit up night view of the Nile River and its delta

Lit up night view of the Nile River and its delta. Photo #19 by NASA

Contrail graffiti over the North Sea

While you’ve no doubt looked up at jet trails, this is contrail graffiti over the North Sea. The Envisat MERIS image over the North Sea captures numerous aircraft condensation trails, or ‘contrails’, as well as parts of the Netherlands (upper right), Belgium (lower right) and England (lower left). Photo #20 by ESA

Hurricane Earl, eye, spiral bands, sea surface from ISS - The Astronaut View

The Astronaut View: Hurricane Earl as seen from the ISS. Photo #21 by NASA

Floating city - The islands that make up the Italian city of Venice and the surrounding Venetian Lagoon

When we think of Venice, we often imagine romantic boat rides through canals. But this is the view from ‘outer space.’ Floating City – The islands that make up the Italian city of Venice and the surrounding Venetian Lagoon. Photo #22 by European Space Imaging (EUSI)

Eclipse View from the ISS

Eclipse View from the ISS. The International Space Station was in position to view the umbral – ground – shadow cast by the moon as it moved between Earth and the sun during a solar eclipse. This astronaut image captures the umbral shadow across southern Turkey, northern Cyprus and the Mediterranean Sea. Photo #23 by NASA

Kounotori2 Approaches Space Station

Kounotori2 Approaches Space Station. The unpiloted Japanese Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) delivered more than four tons of food and supplies to the space station and its crew members. Photo #24 by NASA

Mississippi River and agricultural fields of Arkansas from ISS

Mississippi River and agricultural fields of Arkansas from the ISS. Photo #25 by NASA

ISS shot of Ariane 5 rocket, just after lift off from Europe's Spaceport

ISS shot of Ariane 5 rocket, just after liftoff from Europe’s Spaceport. The Expedition 26 crew had a special interest in the occurrence. The ESA’s second Automated Transfer Vehicle, Johannes Kepler, had launched a short time earlier for an eventual link-up with the ISS. The unmanned supply ship delivered critical supplies and reboost the space station during its almost four-month mission. Photo #26 by NASA

The heart-shaped island of Galešnjak

The heart-shaped island of Galešnjak. The 500 m-wide island is situated off the Croatian coast in the Adriatic Sea, between the city of Turanj (visible in white stretching along Croatia’s mainland coast) and the Island of Pasman (bottom left). Other visible islands include (left to right): Garmenjak (bottom), Mala Bisaga, Vela Bisaga, Ricul and Komornik. Photo #27 by JAXA, ESA

Madagascar jellyfish

Madagascar jellyfish taken from Japan’s ALOS observation satellite and not the ISS, but still, what a wowza sight! The red coloring of the sandbars and islands between the ‘jellyfish tentacles’ comes from sediments washed from hills and into the streams and rivers during heavy rain. Photo #28 by JAXA, ESA

Moon from ISS

Moon from ISS. Photo #29 by NASA

ATV at about 20 km from ISS

ATV as seen by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli from the International Space Station. Photo #30 by ESA/NASA

Man-made island in the Persian Gulf

A partly man-made island located in the Persian Gulf some 25 nautical miles northwest of Abu Dhabi. Photo #31 by JAXA, ESA

picture of Hurricane Ike by the ISS crew

Picture of Hurricane Ike by the ISS crew. Photo #32 by NASA

ISS eye to the universe - Tranquility

ISS eye to the universe – Tranquility. Astronauts onboard the ISS acquired a new view of Earth after the space shuttle Endeavour delivered the Tranquility module to the station. Measuring 15 feet wide by 23 feet long, Tranquility holds some of the station’s environmental control equipment, such as the system that cleans carbon dioxide from the air, and it also provides living space for exercise equipment and a bathroom. Tranquility also comes with a cupola, a dome-shaped viewing port made up of seven windows. Photo #33 by NASA

Aurora Australis from space – RAW VISION: Astronauts on the International Space Station film the aurora australis, or “southern lights”, while passing over the Indian Ocean on September 17, 2011. #34

What does it feel like to fly over planet Earth? #36


352 thoughts on “ISS Envy: Breathtaking Views of Earth

  1. It fills me with despair that in this day & age there are still so many gullible (I’ll go with that over ignorant since, although hard to believe, not all religious people are stupid) people in the world that believe in one or more various & sundry gods. Will we, as a species, ever crawl out of the dark ages & denounce all this silly superstition?

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  3. Sorry phil,just read you Nov. 6, 2011 comment…but…
    Evolution is the myth that man has created to explain that which he could not accept by faith.

  4. Why is it that everytime there are comments to be left regarding a particular thing or subject it ALWAYS turns into a religious or political debate? Some astronaut with a friggin’ camera was taking photos out of his spacecraft’s window – that’s all. Nice photos, btw. Oh, and another thing, if NASA says that is the Indianapolis Speedway, then it’s the Indianapolis Speedway…

  5. Dudette: “God is real i tell ya!he is, he is, he is!!!”
    Dude: How do you know?
    Dudette: ” He is, I swear on my mothers grave i know he is so it is true!”
    Dude: Where’s the proof?
    Dudette: Don’t argue with me! I just know it is, my parents said it’s true, the priest at my church said it’s true, most people I know said it’s true so it is just true ok!! Now stop asking questions!
    Dude: Things are much bigger than what we know dudette? Maybe the god idea isn’t necessarily how it happened?
    Dudette: May you burn in hell! You will meet your creator and he will judge you and you will…..die a billion deaths in hell you unbelieving satanistic god hater!!!
    Dude: OK, sounds fine by me
    Dudette: yeah!!! i win!! you lose, god is real!! i told ya!!
    Dude: (Facepalms)

    anyways…Amazing science, amazing research and well spent dollars. Money is only stuff, may as well spend it on something proactive i say?

    Sadly, One day, our insignificant little earth full of insignificant little people will quietly and without notice disappear. we have no more understanding about what is going on around us than an ant does at it’s level. think about it. I just hope the best scientists we have (like our astronaut friends here) can discover heaps more cool stuff before then, yet it won’t be a bad thing if we can’t make it to another planet to populate imo.

    Good luck with your makers you lot. And the rest of you, keep up the good work 😉

  6. Funny how so many people can all enjoy the same thing, yet as soon as religion is brought into it, a fight ensues.
    Really people, think about. Believe whatever you like, but enjoy what is.
    I don’t know in what I believe, but;
    “It is better to believe and find out it doesn’e exist, than to not believe and find out that it does.”

  7. We are each entitled to our own faith…I for one am a Christian and God’s word tells me that “every head will bow and every tongue will confess” for those who do not believe, at some point it will be too late. This is my firm beleif. I do not “need” this to survive or to get me through life as some have accused here, I simply have faith. There was a time in my life that I didn’t have faith and at that time I was much like those here accusing the Christians of being weak for having faith in Christ,so sad. I was not accusatory or vicious like some here, I just didn’t believe or not believe and I was content in my lack of faith. What a sad world we live in where people have nothing better to do with their time than to sling visious mean and hurtful words at other people for what they believe. I appreciate the awesome beauty in these photos and videos and I can do that without hatred toward my fellow man for what they believe.

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  9. After working for the Space Program from 1963 to 1989, what you have shown me has satisfied me and at last the work I did was not forgotten, but for the world to see. My HAT is off to our Astronaut Corp. Thanks a Million.

  10. I will start with a suggestion for many of the comments above. The definition for ‘theory’ suggests that both the big bang and the existance of a supreme being are both theorys. Niether can be proved to a scientific certainty. So as an unfortunate black man said in Los Angeles many years ago, and after being beaten by the police, “can’t we all just get along?” Second, as Americans, we have the right to believe or not to believe in a “god”. We are not on this Earth Ship to sell our beliefs to others. These are truly awsome pictures and someone who wanted each of us to see them is to be thanked. Read all these comments and you might understand as I do, how so many wars were started over religious beliefs. The irony is that in a lot of cases, the civil war for example, were fought with god on both sides. Sorta funny don’t you think. But back to the pictures (please), just think of all the trouble someone went to “fake” these. It probably would cost so much it would certainly be cheaper to just believe! Many of us have wasted a lot of time in putting forth our thoughts and beliefs, myself included. And to those who argued about which race track it was, who the bleep cares. The beauty of these are actually, truly, beyond words. They are inspiring. Think if you will, how the young impressionable mind would react. So get this to your sons, daughters, and grand kids. See if we can crank out a scientist or two, instead of a fireman, which people my age aspired to.


  12. Once again – we are talking about the race track – once again – who cares – look at the beautiful pictures of earth

  13. To be there earth gazing is a dream I’ll never know, but to see these pics is soooooo goooood. Thank you for sharing your treasure with us. Murr the Blur.

  14. Outstanding photography…thanks for sharing the view.

    Interesting discussions on the existence of God…from many lacking vision.

    The picture isn’t always clear to everyone.

  15. WOW! What an amazing thing technology is, that we can share such amazing photo’s. 50 years ago it would have been only a dream. Thanks for sharing this with the world 🙂

  16. INCREDIBLE and stunning, to say the least. I am THRILLED to view these shots,especially the moving ones-like being there in the ISS ! I agree that the lack of sound and commentary enhances it. I don’t care where or wherenot these pix are; they are ALL amazing. And I thoght that the view from an airplane was good————-pales in comparison, but since the great majority of us will never vacation on the ISS, or even go up in a rocket,this is a real privilege to view!!! A huge upside to the internet for sure. Years ago I remember sitting and watching the astronats LIVE on the Space Shuttle(via my little computer), through the NASA site, and could hardly belive it. Aren’t we most fortunate.

  17. When I consider. . . what is man . . . (Psalms) Have you perceived the breadth of the earth . . . He hangs the earth upon nothing . . . can you guide Arcturus . . . (Job). This is truly a wonderful view of our earth, and the importance of man seems insignificant(except for the increase in knowledge that sends man into space with camers to take pictures and make composites like the lights of the world. There is science in the Bible, and God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. It takes more faith to believe in evolution than creation!
    Thank you for a beautiful experience, riding through the high and lofty parts of the sky.
    Cheers, folks!

  18. Geri bildirim: Breathtaking pictures from the ISS -

  19. Beautiful pictures that make my soul sing. And why not give thanks to God – for I can see his handy-work in the thunderbolts thrown on believers and unbelievers alike.

    Zeus! For the beautiful
    Bend I my knee!
    Zeus! For the truly good
    Bow I to thee!

    Oh! let those two clear rays
    Shine on my youthful days,
    Shine like the sun’s bright glow,
    Diminishing all lights below;
    Zeus is my prayer.
    ___James A. Wickersham

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  21. Ok ok God squad calm down! God is real, great, watching over us. shame he missed all the kids dying of famine?
    All the deaths from natural disasters. dieases,
    Well i guess it is just not a perfect world after all.
    Believe in the here and now, what you can see and touch is real.
    Never seen proof of God and never will, religion is a way of controling the masses and thats all.
    Have that God sqaud!!!!!
    by the way the pics are amazing!!!
    Man will achieve when he try’s,,,,,,all on his own!

  22. Religious nutters , you are mentally sick . There are NO Gods anywhere , which you’ll find out if you hurry up and die .
    Starving Millions . . . STOP breeding . Wait till the rest die … problem gone !

    As for which race track is which or canyon is walls . . . who gives a rats A— ?
    Its a view of earth that we don’t get to see normally so just enjoy the spectacular beauty of the shot and thank the astronauts for letting us see it. We don’t care what you think , you mindless pathetic brainwashed yanks. Americans are so full of Sh-t !
    There’s a whole world beyond your brains that you are missing out on . If the damn yanks kept there fat noses out of every other countries business things just might go ok . So BUTT OUT AMERICA , the world is sick of you . The rest of the world rules !

    I await your mindless responses with anticipation , for they will be mindless .
    Kevin nailed it . . . .Believe only in the here and now and what you can see and touch . The rest is fantasy , mind you 99.9% of yanks live in a fantasy world , do they not ?

  23. Love the pictures. All are truly amazing.
    As to the comments about religion and God,
    some people have faith, some don’t. No
    one knows until we die…NO ONE! I suggest
    we all believe as we want and quit arguing
    about it.

  24. sure wish who ever took these pictures and posted them would let these poor people know if it is or is not the Indy speedway track.???

    • We didn’t just make that up. The image descriptions came from NASA and ISS, so I would believe they know what they are taking pictures of and talking about. In this instance, and according to The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth at

      Mission: ISS001 Roll: E Frame: 6658 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS01
      Country or Geographic Name: USA-INDIANA
      Center Point Latitude: 41.5 Center Point Longitude: -85.0 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)

      Camera Tilt: 24
      Camera Focal Length: 800mm
      Camera: E2: Kodak DCS460 Electronic Still Camera
      Film: 3060E : 3060 x 2036 pixel CCD, RGBG array.

      Film Exposure:
      Percentage of Cloud Cover: 10 (0-10)

      Date: 20010219 (YYYYMMDD)GMT Time: 195643 (HHMMSS)
      Nadir Point Latitude: 41.7, Longitude: -83.5 (Negative numbers indicate south for latitude and west for longitude)
      Nadir to Photo Center Direction: West
      Sun Azimuth: 217 (Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point)
      Spacecraft Altitude: 202 nautical miles (374 km)
      Sun Elevation Angle: 30 (Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point)
      Orbit Number: 876

      It came from a search similar to if I recall correctly and those are around Indianapolis; some of those are tagged as Indianapolis Speedway. I’m not sure what more I can add, but it definitely wasn’t any attempt to randomly defy wisdom and make up a pretend location.

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