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Earth’s Atmospheric Glow

The Pacific Ocean, peppered with bands of white clouds, is seen below a starry sky from the vantage point of the International Space Station. Above the curve of the globe, a well-defined atmospheric glow of yellow-orange is visible, with an additional band of red slightly above. The space station's Nauka science module and Prichal docking module are visible on the left.

This high exposure photograph revealed Earth’s atmospheric glow against the backdrop of a starry sky in this image taken from the International Space Station on Jan. 21, 2024. At the time, the orbital lab was 258 miles above the Pacific Ocean northeast of Papua New Guinea. The Nauka science module and Prichal docking module are visible at left.

Since the space station became operational in November 2000, crew members have produced hundreds of thousands of images of the land, oceans, and atmosphere of Earth, and even of the Moon through Crew Earth Observations. Their photographs of Earth record how the planet changes over time due to human activity and natural events.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA/Andreas Mogensen