Friday, September 16, 2011

Astronaut Paolo Nespoli’s Photos of Earth From Space

ESA’s astronaut Paolo Nespoli, while working and living on the International Space Station, started sharing his experience with the world via a constant flow of beautiful photos and tweets. Nespoli remained in space for 159 days, with a hectic schedule of working on experiments, doing International Space Station (ISS) housekeeping and maintenance, supporting the docking of two cargo craft and conducting robotic work, as well as daily training. But he has still found time to capture beautiful pictures.

 Cupola, with its seven big windows, is a unique place in the Space Station, from which astronauts can see almost 180 degrees to the Earth-facing side of the ISS.

"Flying in space and locating the objects around is not easy. The main reason for Cupola is doing robotics, moving cargo with the Station's robotic arms, and in this Cupola really enhances our capability of being very efficient in space."

But Cupola has also turned an orbiting laboratory into a home. "When I have free time, even only 5 minutes, I just hover in Cupola looking down," explains Paolo.

"It is amazing, because I find constantly something new. As the Station is moving very fast, the view is changing all the time and the lighting conditions, season, position of the Sun and the whole situation is never the same."

Paolo describes his feelings: "I have managed to get most of the targets I wanted to photograph, like the pyramids of Egypt or the Great Wall of China, but there are still a few things I would like to catch. Like the Nazca Lines in Peru. I really would like to see those!" Sometimes Paolo has a certain target in his mind, but often Paolo just snaps a photo when something interesting appears below.

 This is an atoll in the Pacific Ocean located about 1000 km North-East of the Solomon Islands. Paolo had been looking for quite some time for something heart shaped to post on Valentine’s day, but could never find anything, no matter how hard he looked. Once when working on an exercise machine, Paolo looked out the window and saw this atoll passing by. Wasting no time, he quickly grabbed the camera and snapped a few pictures; there was nothing else around it, just water and clouds.

 Lightning during a thunderstorm over Brazil.  Thunderstorm broke out in an area having a diameter not less than 80 km

 Condensation trails of aircraft flying at high altitudes

 Magnificent glacial landscape of northern Canada

 The ISS flies over Cuba

 Scene over Tietê River, Brazil

 26-I long-term expedition to the ISS team members - engineer Catherine Coleman (right), commander Scott Kelly (center) and flight engineer Paolo Nespoli (left)

 Desert in Somalia

 Ice-covered Lake Bairab, China

 Blue expanse of ocean

 The island of Sicily

 Amazing colors of the earth in southern Australia

 Venezuela's Los Roques archipelago, located in the Caribbean

 Huge clusters of red algae

 Lake Cadibarrawirracanna, South Australia

 Prominent Hill mine, South Australia

 Lake Frome, South Australia

 Mount Taranaki/Mount Egmont, New Zealand

 Grand Canyon, United States

 Volcano: Onekotan Island, Russia

 Dual volcanoes in the Andes

Rome, Italy at night

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