Here are the top 10 most beautiful Earth photos taken by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the orbiting laboratory, in 2019. Which one is your favorite? Or if your favorite image was not listed here, please leave a comment below. To see all images taken from the International Space Station and published by NASA, visit Space Station Images webpage.
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Most Beautiful Earth Photos Taken From the ISS in 2019
1. The uncrewed SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft is silhouetted against the Earth’s horizon, March 4
The uncrewed SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft is silhouetted against the Earth’s horizon during Demo-1, the first flight of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to the International Space Station. The vehicle ultimately docked to the station’s Harmony module after completing several successful demonstrations during the approach. Image (iss058e027197): NASA
2. City lights and the aurora over Russia and Kazakhstan, March 19
City lights and the aurora are pictured during a nighttime pass as the International Space Station orbited 256 miles (412 kilometers) above Russia and Kazakhstan.
3. The “Eye of the Sahara”, April 5
On April 5, 2019, from an altitude of 255 miles (410 km), an Expedition 59 crewmember photographed the Richat Structure, or the “Eye of the Sahara“, in northwestern Mauritania. The circular geologic feature is thought to be caused by an uplifted dome-geologists would classify it as a domed anticline-that has been eroded to expose the originally flat rock layers.
4. The desert nations of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan, June 10
The Nile River, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea are contrasted by the desert nations of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Jordan as the International Space Station orbits 254 miles (409 kilometers) above Africa. The result is one of the most beautiful Earth photos from space in 2019.
The Nile, a north-flowing river in Africa, is among the world’s longest waterways, famed for its ancient history and the archaeological sites along its shores. The fertile Lower Nile gave rise to early Egyptian civilization and is still home to the Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza near Cairo. Sightseeing boats, from luxury liners to traditional felucca sailboats, also cruise between the cities of Luxor and Aswan.
5. Mount Shasta in California, June 23
Mount Shasta in California is pictured from the International Space Station as the orbital complex orbited 256 miles (412 km) above the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the United States.
Mount Shasta is a potentially active volcano at the southern end of the Cascade Range in Siskiyou County, California, United States. At an elevation of 14,179 feet (4321.8 m), it is the second-highest peak in the Cascades and the fifth-highest in the state of California.
6. The light of the moon and the starry Milky Way, June 29
The Earth’s limb and the atmospheric glow highlight the thin blue atmosphere backlit by the Sun’s rays during a period between night and day. The light of the moon and the starry Milky Way drape the background as the International Space Station orbited 257 miles (414 km) above the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Mexico.
7. The Texas cities of Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula, September 4
The cities of Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula, separated by the Galveston Bay with the Texas City Dike at the bottom, were pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 262 miles (422 km) above the Lone Star State.
8. The mountain lake of Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan, October 16
Without any shadows of doubt, one of the most beautiful Earth photos from space: Issyk-Kul Lake in the central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan is surrounded by the snow-capped Tian Shen mountains. It is the second-largest mountain lake in the world behind Lake Titicaca in South America.
The International Space Station was orbiting 252 miles (406 km) above southeastern Kazakhstan with a ground distance of 72 miles (116 km) from Issykul-Lake when this photograph was taken. Issyk-Kul is the seventh deepest lake in the world, the tenth-largest lake in the world by volume (though not in surface area), and the second-largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea. Issyk-Kul means “warm lake” in the Kyrgyz language; although it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, it never freezes.
9. The French Polynesian island of Bora Bora, October 31
The French Polynesian island of Bora Bora, surrounded by the Bora Main Motu Reef, is pictured as the International Space Station orbited 257 miles (414 km) above the South Pacific Ocean.
10. The Sun’s glint beaming off Brazil’s largest lagoon, November 19
The Sun’s glint beaming off Brazil’s largest lagoon, Lagoa dos Patos, on the nation’s southernmost tip is pictured from an altitude of 260 miles (418 km) as the International Space Station orbited across the South American continent’s Atlantic coast.
Lagoa dos Patos covers an area of 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi). It is 174 miles (280 km) long and has a maximum width of 44 miles (60 km). It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a sandbar about 5 miles (8 km) wide.