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This strange and wonderful photo is titled Fingerprints of Water on the Sand. It shows an area of Oman and was taken last week by NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren from the International Space Station.


Mona Evans
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Phytoplankton bloom in the North Atlantic. Phytoplankton are microscopic, plant-like organisms and in the spring and autumn they bloom in profusion. We know that they're important to Earth's ecology, but are not yet certain in what ways they effect it. This bloom was observed by the Suomi NPP satellite in September 2015 and there was some processing to highlight differences in color and enhance the more subtle features of the bloom.

(Credit: NASA image by Norman Kuring, using VIIRS data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership, captioned by Kathryn Hansen)

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 12/13/15 01:10 AM.

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Released today, a stunning, false-color image taken by Sentinel-2A in August. This is southern Mongolia, with China to the south and Russia to the north, deep in the heart of Asia. The average elevation is 1500 m (about 5000 ft) above sea level.

Asia's largest desert, the Gobi Desert, is a rain shadow desert, because the rain from the Indian Ocean is blocked by the Himalayas. At the bottom of the image, you can see part of the Baga Bogd Mountain range – its highest peak is 3600 m (nearly 12,000 ft).

There is some vegetation and the different red tones represent different types of vegetation. Erosion patterns are very noticeable in the image, and in the top right, there is the saline Taatsiin Tsagaan Lake. It shows up a bright turquoise because of its depth and high salt concentration.


Mona Evans
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Usually, pictures of the Earth from space are from Earth orbit. But this picture of the Earth is from lunar orbit. It's a composite image made up from a set of images taken on October 12 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbit on the farside of the Moon.


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Calgary, Alberta, Canada in the snow, photographed by British astronaut Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station.


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Commander Scott Kelly on board the International Space Station took this picture on January 2nd of this year. It shows a snowy volcano on an Aleutian island, letting off steam.


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A beautiful picture of Earth from the ISS, taken by Commander Scott Kelly to mark the New Year. (Blue is my favorite color and I think this picture rocks!)

Kelly already has the record for the longest space mission of any NASA astronaut. He will have spent a year on the ISS by the time he comes home. However cosmonaut Valery Polyakov spent over 14 months consecutively on the Soviet space station Mir.


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Here is a lovely image featuring the island of Bahrain and surroundings in the Persian Gulf. Blue - my favorite color! The picture is from Sentinel-2A satellite data on 18 September 2015.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 01/22/16 08:34 AM.

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The French Riviera taken by ESA's Sentinel-2A satellite four days after its launch in June 2015. Nice airport is in the lower left. (This is a false colour image - it was obtained in infrared, which is invisible to our eyes.)


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British astronaut Tim Peake aboard the ISS shares this night pass over Italy, the Alps and Mediterranean.

Credits: ESA/NASA


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