Cmdr Chris Hadfield has been orbiting the Earth aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for nearly a month now, and he has been sharing what the planet looks like from space in a series of stunning photos on Twitter.
The Canadian astronaut headed to the ISS aboard a Soyuz spacecraft on 19 December 2012.
Besides capturing images of valleys, rivers, mountains, farms, cities and even the Dublin coast from above, Hadfield is carrying out scientific experiments, operating Canadarm2, performing robotics tasks, and overseeing operations as first Canadian commander of the ISS as of March 2013, the Canadian Space Agency said.
Hadfield’s mission aboard the outpost that orbits Earth every 92 minutes at 8 km/s is to last five months.
Here are a few of the photos of planet Earth Hadfield has tweeted from space:
Ringarooma Bay, Tasmania. “Now I can’t stop saying Ringarooma Bay," Hadfield tweeted.
Island of Rhodes, Greece. “Interesting that from space, you can see where the Colossus of Rhodes stood 2,300 years ago,” Hadfield said in a tweet.
Clouds of smoke from the bushfires in Australia are visible from space. “The pall of smoke clouds over Australia, as seen from orbit. A rare view of the bushfires’ effect,” as Hadfield put it.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. “A clearer view of Vancouver on a sunny day – can clearly see the ferry terminal, airport and many boats in the inlet,” Hadfield captioned this photo.
“Lava carbuncle – an ancient intrusion of tough, hard rock in southwestern Africa. Quite likely also Namibia,” Hadfield tweeted about this shot.
A sandstorm sweeps its way over farms in the American mid-west.
“Frozen crests of sand break over the arid rock, Namibian coast, Africa,” Hadfield tweeted.
Hadfield described this photo taken over Saudi Arabia as, “A lonely road to drive; don’t run out of gas.”
Twitter user Peter Caltner correctly tweeted in response to Hadfield that this photo is of linear dunes and dry lakes in Western Australia.
Qingdao, a Northern Chinese city on the sea, featuring Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, the world’s longest sea bridge, Hadfield said.
“Indecisive river and orderly farmers, central Asia,” Hadfield tweeted of this photo.
Glaciers pierce the Himalayas.
Snow covers rice fields in Japan.
Hadfield tweeted he wasn’t sure where this river lies, but narrowed it down to somewhere within the Amazon rainforest.