Photos of Earth from space resemble paintings

5 Aug 2014

Astronaut Alexander Gerst conducts his weekly check of the Soyuz spacecraft aboard the International Space Station. Photo via his Twitter account

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst has a pretty unique view of planet Earth aboard the International Space Station, and so he has been sharing photographs of painting-like landscapes on Twitter.

Gerst, who is also a geophysicist and volcanologist, shared the photos below with his 120,000 Twitter followers within the past month.

He has been aboard the orbiting space lab since the end of May and is due to return to Earth in November.

Gerst is working as part of US space agency NASA’s Expedition 40, along with fellow flight engineers Reid Wiseman, Maxim Suraev, Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, and Commander Steve Swanson.

The crew is carrying out various European and international science experiments, and Gerst has also been busy with his camera:

The Vredefort crater in South Africa

The Andes mountains in South America

Mount Etna volcano in Sicily

Probably river in Kazakhstan, or “slightly west of it”, Gerst tweeted

A gas field in Kazakhstan

Irrigation in the Sahara Desert

The pyramids in Egypt

A flooded part of the Amazon River

Clouds form a pattern around an island (Gerst didn’t identify the island in his tweet)

The Mideast conflict, visible from space

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic