Here are the top ten most beautiful Earth photos taken by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in 2016.

Most Beautiful Earth Images Taken From the International Space Station in 2016

1. Flyover of the Mediterranean, January 25

Most Beautiful Earth Images Taken From the International Space Station in 2016: Space Station flyover of the Mediterranean (January 2016)
Most beautiful Earth images taken from the International Space Station in 2016: This amazing nighttime photograph of Italy, the Alps, and the Mediterranean was taken by the expedition 46 flight engineer Tim Peake on January 25, 2016. He shared this photo with his Twitter followers.

2. Busy Traffic at the International Space Station, April 6

Most Beautiful Earth Images Taken From the International Space Station in 2016: Busy traffic at the International Space Station (April 2016)
Most beautiful Earth images taken from the International Space Station in 2016: Another beautiful photo, again by Tim Peake. This time, it was taken during the Expedition 47 on April 6, 2016, as the International Space Station flew over Madagascar. The photo is showing three of the five spacecraft currently docked to the station. The station crew was waiting for the scheduled launch on April 8, of the third resupply vehicle in three weeks: a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft, which was carrying 6,900 pounds (3,130 kilograms) of science, crew supplies and hardware.

3. Space Station View of the Full Moon, June 21

Most Beautiful Earth Images Taken From the International Space Station in 2016: International Space Station View of the Full Moon
Most beautiful Earth images taken from the International Space Station in 2016: Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams of NASA took this photograph on June 21, 2016, from the International Space Station, and published it on Twitter, writing “A spectacular rise of the full moon just before sunset while flying over western China.”

4. Aurora, South of Australia, June 24

Most Beautiful Earth Images Taken From the International Space Station in 2016: International Space Station - Aurora South of Australia (June 24, 2016)
Most beautiful Earth images taken from the International Space Station in 2016: Another photo by the Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams. This one was taken on June 24, 2016: the lights of an aurora from the International Space Station. Sharing the image on social media, Williams wrote, “We were treated to some spectacular aurora south of Australia today.” An aurora, sometimes referred to as a polar light or northern light, is a natural light display in the sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions. Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind that the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma, mainly in the form of electrons and protons, precipitate them into the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere), where their energy is lost. The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emit light of varying color and complexity.

5. Strait of Gibraltar, September 16

Earth from ISS (September 16, 2016)
Most beautiful Earth images taken from the International Space Station in 2016: ISS049e0004489 (September 16, 2016) – Expedition 49 crew members capture a nighttime view of the Strait of Gibraltar with a Russian Soyuz spacecraft (left) and Progress spacecraft (right) in the foreground. Photo: ISS Facebook

6. Northern Egypt, September 16

Earth from ISS (September 16, 2016)
Most beautiful Earth images taken from the International Space Station in 2016: ISS049e004516 (September 16, 2016) – This nighttime view of northern Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula was captured by the Expedition 49 crew aboard the International Space Station. The city of Cairo can be seen to the left at the top of the Nile river. Atop the sparsely lit Sinai Peninsula can be seen cities in Israel, including the brightly lit city of Tel Aviv on the Israeli coast along the Mediterranean sea. Photo: ISS Facebook

7. Southern tip of Italy, September 17

Earth from ISS (September 17, 2016)
Most beautiful Earth images taken from the International Space Station in 2016: ISS049e004708 (September 17, 2016) – The southern tip of Italy is visible in this image taken by the Expedition 49 crew aboard the International Space Station. The brightly lit city of Naples can be seen in the bottom section of the image. A Russian Soyuz spacecraft can be seen in the foreground. Photo: ISS Facebook

8. Lightnings of a thunderstorm, September 18

Earth from ISS (September 18, 2016)
Most beautiful Earth images taken from the International Space Station in 2016: SS049e004943 (September 18, 2016) – The International Space Station flies approximately 250 miles over thunderstorms visible during a nighttime pass. Lightning can be seen flashing brightly inside the clouds below. A Russian Soyuz spacecraft (left) and Progress spacecraft (right) are seen in the foreground. Photo: ISS Facebook

9. Sahara Desert From the International Space Station’s Sally Ride EarthKAM, October 3

Most Beautiful Earth Images Taken From the International Space Station in 2016: International Space Station, Sahara Desert from Sally Ride EarthKAM (October 3, 2016)
Most beautiful Earth images taken from the International Space Station in 2016: Middle school students programmed a camera aboard the International Space Station — the Sally Ride EarthKAM — to photograph this portion of the Sahara desert in western Libya on October 3, 2016. Sally Ride EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students) is a NASA educational outreach program that started in 1996. The program, initiated by Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, allows students to direct a digital camera aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to take photographs of specific places on Earth. It is the only program providing students with such direct control of an instrument on a spacecraft orbiting Earth, teaching them about environmental science, geography, and space communications.

10. Western Europe at Night, November 28

Most Beautiful Earth Images Taken From the International Space Station in 2016: International Space Station, Western Europe at Night (November 28, 2016)
Most beautiful Earth images taken from the International Space Station in 2016: A nighttime view of Western Europe is captured by crew members aboard the International Space Station on November 28, 2016. England is visible in the top right of the frame, Paris appearing as the bright city near the middle of the image and views of Belgium and the Netherlands occupying the middle right of the frame.

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres
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