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Astronaut with a camera - an amazing combination
March 29, 2012 8:00 AM   Subscribe

Dutch astronaut and physician André Kuipers brought his camera aboard the International Space Station and took some photos in his spare time, the results are breathtaking.

Buzzfeed picked out some of the most spectacular, though there are many more in the photostream worth checking out (including one of my favorites):

The Richat Structure in Mauritania

Paris at night

From space I wish you all a very exciting and colorful year!

Veins' in the Somalian desert

Over the Tibetan plateau with the Himilayas, Butan and Napal in the background

Denmark with Copenhagen, Norway with Oslo, Sweden with Stockholm in the distance, northern Germany and beyond. And the Aurora Borealis of course

Beautiful reflection of the Sun in a Brazilian river

(Airplanes 242 miles below.) On their way to America

Over the Southern Lights between Antarctic and Australia

Sahara sand treks hundreds of kilometres across the Atlantic Ocean

Sea ice spirals near Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia

The different layers of the atmosphere can be seen during sunrise and sunset

Detail strong winds at White Sands

Sunlight reflects in the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas. Corsica, Sardinia and northern Italy

Sahara sand pattern

Snowy Canada. River or a millipede?

Wave pattern in the Indian Ocean. I wonder if they are above or below the water surface and how tall they are

Lake Powell and Colorado River. Awesome place. Green warm water, white/red rocks, blue sky. And nobody around

Meteor crater in Canada

The Alps look very tempting, but I don't have my skis with me...

The moon looks the same from the ISS as it does on Earth. Only we see it rise and set again and again.

A year ago I saw it from a plane and tweeted that I wanted to see these colours from space. Here it is. Salt Lake City.

Sahara sand pattern.

The Earth by night.

ISS Commander Dan Burbank @astrocoastie has an eye for beautiful cloud formations

Aircraft make patterns in the sky

How we see the moon. Sharp and slowly moving towards or away from the horizon

The Pacific is a great source of colourful images. One of the Gilbert Islands

Africa meets Europe - Strait of Gibraltar

Foam clouds

For an experiment I had to be quiet for 10 min, so I looked out the window. And saw an active Etna

Australia is an extraordinary continent with beautiful structures

Comet Lovejoy by Cdr Dan Burbank @astrocoastie, on launch day. One of the first who spotted it
posted by quin (36 comments total) 68 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh my god, guys! We live on that awesome thing! Beautiful.
posted by sendai sleep master at 8:11 AM on March 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Spectacular work! Lots of wallpaper opportunities here.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:15 AM on March 29, 2012


fucking jealous
posted by nathancaswell at 8:25 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know that photographers say it's not about the equipment, it's about your skill, but clearly, having a space station helps you take better pictures.
posted by adamrice at 8:25 AM on March 29, 2012 [27 favorites]


For an experiment I had to be quiet for 10 min, so I looked out the window.

It amuses me to imagine that this was a case of all the other astronauts making him play the Quiet Game so they can get ten minutes of peace, rather than, you know, a science experiment because he's a physicist.
posted by 256 at 8:28 AM on March 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


One of my favorite things about the internet and social networking is that at some point, seemingly overnight, space photos went from "Here are some officially-released photos from NASA" to "Hey guys I'm an astronaut on the space station check out my Flickr feed."
posted by bondcliff at 8:30 AM on March 29, 2012 [17 favorites]


I knew about the fact that Saharan sand crosses the Atlantic and makes it all the way to North America, but this is the first time I've actually seen it. Amazing. Thanks for the post.
posted by googly at 8:46 AM on March 29, 2012


So amazing. Thank you.

Can anyone please explain the Salt Lake City one for me?

http://s3-ak.buzzfed.com/static/enhanced/web03/2012/3/27/14/enhanced-buzz-wide-22470-1332873025-25.jpg
posted by rahnefan at 8:52 AM on March 29, 2012


Thank you thank you thank you. And I concur with you about which is the best, although the Mauritanian image is gorgeous, too.
posted by bardophile at 8:56 AM on March 29, 2012


rahnefan: That's Stansbury Bay. Those are salt evaporation ponds.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:00 AM on March 29, 2012


(Airplanes 242 miles below.) - My next band name
On their way to America. - Our first album title
posted by gwint at 9:25 AM on March 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I went to space and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!
posted by brokkr at 9:27 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


You are correct, these are awesome.
posted by odinsdream at 9:34 AM on March 29, 2012


I mean, imagine the enormous amount of science that can be performed simply by virtue of being in this vantage point.

To anyone who disparages the space program: being there is reason enough.
posted by odinsdream at 9:36 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


It baffles me that there are people out there in the world who think this is a thing of little to no value. How can anyone look at stuff like this and not think OMG AWESOME in the purest sense of the word?
posted by elizardbits at 9:37 AM on March 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


People wonder why I prefer the window seat on the plane. This is why (writ large).

Also, I'm no geologist, so can someone tell me regarding this one...

Africa meets Europe - Strait of Gibraltar

Are they meeting for the first time, or in the middle of a messy divorce?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:37 AM on March 29, 2012


These are great!

But is it just me who really feels like reenacting the opening sequence from Heavy Metal when I see pictures like these?

Now that is the way to travel!
posted by Spiegel at 9:40 AM on March 29, 2012


Heel, heel mooi.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:43 AM on March 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I went to space and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!

You don't get to say that while standing floating in front of the best view in the world.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:02 AM on March 29, 2012


I know that photographers say it's not about the equipment, it's about your skill, but clearly, having a space station helps you take better pictures.

Actually, it's about your eye, and André Kuipers has a very good eye.
posted by tommyD at 10:08 AM on March 29, 2012


tommyD: "Actually, it's about your eye, and André Kuipers has a very good eye."

Yeah, definitely has a good eye. AND A FUCKING SPACE STATION.
posted by danny the boy at 10:15 AM on March 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


damnit you guys I wanna go to space. WHEN CAN I GO TO SPACE
posted by danny the boy at 10:17 AM on March 29, 2012


When I was a kid, I wanted to be either Jacques Cousteau or an astronaut. I think now I wanna be an astronaut. Sorry, Jacques.
posted by rtha at 10:22 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


256: It amuses me to imagine that this was a case of all the other astronauts making him play the Quiet Game so they can get ten minutes of peace, rather than, you know, a science experiment because he's a physicist.

I had the same thoughts. I wanted to think that André is that chatty guy who always has something to say - he's not an annoying person, and he's quite bright, but he will. not. be. quiet. So the other astronauts talked him into playing the Quiet Game.

But according to an ISS On-Orbit Status report from 01/31/12, 10 minutes of quiet time is part of the science up there.
During the first 24 hrs (while all devices are worn), ten minutes of quiet, resting breathing are timelined to collect data for a specific analysis. The nominal exercise includes at least 10 minutes at a heart rate ≥120 bpm (beats per minute).
There's a lot more about the ICV (Integrated Cardiovascular) experiment in question in the link.

And the desert photos (many linked above, but you really have to see the lava crater in the Sahara) could easily be credited as images from other planets, and I would believe it.

Stunning, thanks!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:52 AM on March 29, 2012


bondcliff: One of my favorite things about the internet and social networking is that at some point, seemingly overnight, space photos went from "Here are some officially-released photos from NASA" to "Hey guys I'm an astronaut on the space station check out my Flickr feed."

NASA has done a great job of publicizing their work, which I'd like to think is improving the public's perception of NASA. And with the internet access provided to ISS in 2010 (MeFi self-link), I wonder how many of these social network updates are near real-time, which is a level above "I'm an astronaut, check out my Flickr feed," it's "I'm an astronaut, and I'm in space right now, check out what I just saw!"

The future is awesome.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:03 AM on March 29, 2012


Are they meeting for the first time, or in the middle of a messy divorce?

...about 5.96 million years ago in the late Miocene period the precursor of the Strait of Gibraltar closed tight, and the Mediterranean Sea, for the first time and then repeatedly, partially desiccated.
posted by polecat at 11:34 AM on March 29, 2012


Filthy Light Thief, I don't think you linked what you meant to.
posted by dmd at 11:50 AM on March 29, 2012


NASA has done a great job of publicizing their work, which I'd like to think is improving the public's perception of NASA.

I want to believe this is true. And the rabble rousing luddites that occupy far too much 'news' airtime are going to die off soon and we can get back to doing stuff "Because it's there."
posted by DigDoug at 11:59 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


thanks
posted by goutytophus at 12:45 PM on March 29, 2012


When I was a kid, I wanted to be either Jacques Cousteau or an astronaut. I think now I wanna be an astronaut. Sorry, Jacques.

Yeah, I liked Alien better than the Abyss too.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:10 PM on March 29, 2012


The 'Salt Lake City' pic is not Salt Lake City -- it's (ref Google Maps) Stansbury Bay, some miles west of the city, at 40.857448,-112.588852 or so.
posted by hexatron at 1:49 PM on March 29, 2012


I think it's really neat how trans-atlantic planes from above look so much like the same thing, but from below.

I don't know if seeing these sorts of views day in and day out gets old, but I'd certainly be willing to find out.
posted by Bonky Moon at 1:53 PM on March 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm speechless.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:09 PM on March 29, 2012


I liked the two images of the moon from completely different perspectives.

The moon in the darkness of space contrasted with the blue prettiness of earth's atmosphere.

And how when the viewpoint is pulled back, the earth looks huge and the moon looks so tiny.
posted by marsha56 at 4:57 PM on March 29, 2012


Andre Kuipers will be posting Earth Hour photos.
posted by bardophile at 9:01 AM on March 31, 2012


dmd: Filthy Light Thief, I don't think you linked what you meant to.

Now it's fixed, it points to this MeFi post.

posted by filthy light thief at 3:23 PM on March 31, 2012


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