Is it art? Earlier this month, space station astronaut Aki Hoshide (Japan) recorded this striking image while helping to augment the capabilities of the Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS). Visible in this outworldly assemblage is the Sun, the Earth, two portions of a robotic arm, an astronaut’s spacesuit, the deep darkness of space, and the unusual camera taking the picture. This image joins other historic — and possibly artistic — self-portraits taken previously in space. The Expedition 32 mission ended yesterday when an attached capsule undocked with the ISS and returned some of the crew to Earth.
Space station Mir
Since becoming operational in 1986, Mir has been visited by over 100 spacefarers from the nations of planet Earth including, Russia, the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Austria, Kazakhstan and Slovakia. After joint Shuttle-Mir training missions in support of the International Space Station, continuous occupation of Mir ended in August 1999. The Mir was deorbited in March 2001.
The setting sun highlights cloud patterns—as well as the Pacific Ocean surface itself—in this photograph taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station.
Aurora from Space
Picture taken by ISS Officer Don Pettit
Volcano Tungurahua sometimes erupts spectacularly. Pictured above, molten rock so hot it glows visibly pours down the sides of the 5,000-meter high Tungurahua, while a cloud of dark ash is seen being ejected toward the left. Wispy white clouds flow around the lava-lit peak, while a star-lit sky shines in the distance. Located in Ecuador, Tungurahua has become active roughly every 90 years for the last 1,300 years.
In Eastern Algeria’s stretch of the Sahara, the Tifernine Dune Field - a section of the Grand Erg Oriental dune sea - meets the Tinrhert Plateau, as seen in a 2008 astronaut photograph.
Restored: First Image of the Earth from the Moon
Explanation: Pictured above is the first image ever taken of the Earth from the Moon. The image was taken in 1966 by Lunar Orbiter 1 and heralded by then-journalists as the Image of the Century. It was taken about two years before the Apollo 8 crew snapped its more famous color cousin.