Besides working on science experiments, conducting spacewalks, and dealing with the occasional space-based emergency, astronauts aboard the International Space Station also get to enjoy jaw-dropping views of Earth from 250 miles up.
Some of the astronauts also like to photograph the scenery and share those images with folks down here on terra firma.
Current ISS crew member Thomas Pesquet has been posting lots of incredible images since arriving at the orbiting outpost in April 2021. His latest stunning effort, shared on Wednesday, August 4, shows a golden sunset reflection.
“Good evening from space! A beautiful sunset reflection off our blue marble,” Pesquet wrote in a comment accompanying the extraordinary photo.
Au crépuscule l'océan baigne dans les tons chauds du soleil, si ce n'est pour quelques ombres de ☁️ à sa surface #whatelse Bonne soirée à tous depuis la Station !
Good evening from space! A beautiful sunset reflection off our blue marble#MissionAlpha https://t.co/3dvZcWpMgA pic.twitter.com/CHR4YZmSDk
— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) August 4, 2021
For those interested in the details, Pesquet captured the image using a Nikon D5 DSLR camera at 95mm using a 50-500mm zoom lens. The shutter fired at a rapid 1/2000 of a second. The aperture and ISO were set at f/8 and 200.
And if Pesquet’s sunset image alone isn’t enough to feast your eyes upon, then how about these gorgeous aurora australis photos that landed on the space station’s Twitter account on Wednesday?
— International Space Station (@Space_Station) August 5, 2021
According to the accompanying data, these images were also taken with the Nikon D5 at 58mm at a speed of about half a second. The aperture was f/1.2 while the ISO was set at 12800.
For more amazing images snapped from the space station, check out this collection of shots also taken by Pesquet showing an impressive range of landscapes from around the world.
Fellow crew member Shane Kimbrough has also shown that he too has an eye for a good Earth shot, recently sharing these remarkable Mars-like images that in reality show Saudi Arabian sand dunes.
Although the station’s 90-minute orbit of Earth means the scenery below is always rapidly changing, it’s fair to say that camera-wielding astronauts still need a good eye to find a great shot.
The pictures you see here will most likely have been taken from inside the space station’s Cupola, a seven-window module that offers astronauts panoramic views of Earth and space.
Keen photographers aboard the ISS can choose from a wide range of cameras and lenses, with most of the equipment supplied by Nikon.