We’ve been regularly bombarded with images of the Earth from above, thanks to Commander Chris Hadfield on the International Space Station, and the dozens of Earth-observing satellites circling our planet, but it’s not too often we see an image of the moon from space.
The ISS hovers 250 miles above Earth, so it also has a spectacular view of our closest celestial neighbour.
Luckily ISS commander Maxim Suraev just published this fabulous shot to the Roscosmos Instagram feed. He caught the moon on a cloudy day, so you can see the peaks from the fluffy clouds below. You can see the out-stretched shadows cast by, what appears to be, a couple of cumulonimbus clouds, with the lonely moon floating in the background.
A photo posted by Роскосмос/Roscosmos (@roscosmosofficial) on Oct 10, 2014 at 9:34am PDT
Suraev isn’t the first person to take an image of the moon from the ISS: Here’s another stunning one taken by astronaut Ron Garan aboard the space station in 2011. A sunset lines Earth’s edge as a thin crescent of the moon appears in the night sky. Because they orbit the Earth every 90 minutes, the crew aboard the ISS experience this dual sunset/moonrise view 16 times a day.
This last image depicts a distant Moon, with just a small portion reflecting the sunlight. To observers on Earth, this would appear to be a crescent Moon. The ominous bright-blue band closing in on the Moon is Earth’s atmosphere. This image was also taken aboard the ISS by an astronaut from Expedition 26.
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