Saturday, September 10, 2016
Amazing Photos of Earth From Space
The last time American astronaut Jeff Williams set foot on Earth was March 18, 2015 and he was in space for 534 day. On September 9, 2016, he returned to our planet, having set a new NASA record for cumulative time spent in space. During his time working in space, Williams has seen the International Space Station (ISS) grow from a single, crew-less module to the continuously-manned orbiting laboratory that it is today. His first mission was aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis back in 2000, where he worked to prepare the space station for its first crew, spending just 10 days in space. He returned in 2006 and spent six months there, setting up experiments and replacing equipment. In 2009 ,Williams commanded the station for the first time, overseeing the arrival of, among other things, the famous cupola. On his most recent mission, the station had officially been declared complete, but Williams still found work to do, adding a docking adapter and helping to deploy a new module.
Over those 534 days, Williams has shown that he has a great photographic eye for some of Earth’s more spectacular features, sharing many of his shots on social media. He has delighted in spotting the pale blues of coral reefs, unique agricultural plots, and winding river deltas, along with astrological features such as noctilucent clouds, aurorae, and the full moon. “It’s a real thrill for me to be able to bring the experience to you through photography,” Williams said in a NASA video earlier this year, “You never get tired of viewing the beautiful planet that is home to all of us.”
Williams will not have long to enjoy his crown. Peggy Whitson is scheduled to break his record during her next mission, which launches in November.
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Bright yellow plots of rape seed growing in Szombathely, Hungary.
Fields in Gaines County, Texas.
Prairie Dog Town Fork Red River, on the border of Texas and Oklahoma.
Coral reefs in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Mozambique.
Part of the Sahara desert, Algeria.
The Richat Structure or “Bulls Eye” in Mauritania.
Salt domes in the Great Salt Desert of eastern Iran.
The Exmouth Gulf, in Western Australia.
Agriculture in South Africa.
The Giza Plateau in Giza, Egypt.
Agriculture in Alpera, Spain.
Kansanshi mine, Africa's largest copper mine, in Zambia.
Karachi, Pakistan and the Indus River delta.
The General Carrera Lake in Patagonia, Chile.
Noctilucent clouds, formed by ice crystals, high up in Earth's mesosphere.
The full moon rises just before sunset, over western China.
The sun reflects off of Earth as night approaches, April 5, 2016.