ONLY a handful of people have ever been to space, but they’ve taken enough photos to fill a library.

From violent volcanic eruptions to booming mega-storms, astronauts are privy to views of our planet that us land-lovers could only dream of.

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Astronauts work outside the International Space Station with New Zealand and the Cook Strait in the Pacific Ocean in the backgroundCredit: NASA

We’ve summed up some of the best taken aboard the International Space Station (ISS) – a lab that has orbited Earth since the year 2000.

Many astronauts bring cameras on their months-long stints on the station, snapping pictures from 250 miles above our planet.

As well as bedrooms, space labs, a gym and a kitchen, the ISS has an observation deck that provides spectacular views.

Look away now if you suffer from vertigo…

Photo of Earth, or modern art?

 Astronaut Scott Kelly snapped this incredible shot of Australia

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Astronaut Scott Kelly snapped this incredible shot of AustraliaCredit: Johnson Space Center

A bit of light relief

 The Northern Lights are a lot easier to spot from orbit

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The Northern Lights are a lot easier to spot from orbitCredit: NASA

From Russia, with love

 Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy takes a break during a six-hour spacewalk to help with assembly and maintenance on the International Space Station in 2013

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Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy takes a break during a six-hour spacewalk to help with assembly and maintenance on the International Space Station in 2013Credit: Johnson Space Center

Lava land

 A plume of ash and gases rises from the erupting Raikoke Volcano on the Kuril Islands in the North Pacific in June, 2019

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A plume of ash and gases rises from the erupting Raikoke Volcano on the Kuril Islands in the North Pacific in June, 2019Credit: NASA

City of lights

 Lodgers aboard the ISS get stunning views of cities on cloudless nights. This shot of Paris was taken by in April, 2015

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Lodgers aboard the ISS get stunning views of cities on cloudless nights. This shot of Paris was taken by in April, 2015Credit: Johnson Space Center

What is the ISS?

Here’s what you need to know about the International Space Station…

  • The International Space Station, often abbreviated to ISS, is a large space craft that orbits Earth and houses astronauts who go up there to complete scientific missions
  • Many countries worked together to build it and they work together to use it
  • It is made up of many pieces, which astronauts had to send up individually on rockets and put together from 1998 to 2000
  • Ever since the year 2000, people have lived on the ISS
  • Nasa uses the station to learn about living and working in space
  • It is approximately 250 miles above Earth and orbits around the planet just like a satellite
  • Living inside the ISS is said to be like living inside a big house with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a gym, lots of science labs and a big bay window for viewing Earth

Storm in a China teacup

 Thunderstorms roll over the South China Sea, July 29, 2016

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Thunderstorms roll over the South China Sea, July 29, 2016Credit: Johnson Space Center

Water shot

 Lake Powell, a reservoir on the Colorado River, snapped in 2016

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Lake Powell, a reservoir on the Colorado River, snapped in 2016Credit: Johnson Space Center

Land of the lighting, son

 The lights of Japan below the ISS, captured by astronaut Scott Kelly in 2015

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The lights of Japan below the ISS, captured by astronaut Scott Kelly in 2015Credit: Johnson Space Center

Sunrise from space

 Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of a sunrise over Earth to Twitter on March 1, 2016

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Astronaut Scott Kelly posted this photo of a sunrise over Earth to Twitter on March 1, 2016Credit: Johnson Space Center

Death from above

 Hurricane Dorian snapped from the ISS in September 2019. The storm struck the Bahamas and killed around 60 people

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Hurricane Dorian snapped from the ISS in September 2019. The storm struck the Bahamas and killed around 60 peopleCredit: Johnson Space Center

Fields of view

 The Mediterranean coast of France pictured in March 2016

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The Mediterranean coast of France pictured in March 2016Credit: Johnson Space Center

Looks a bit Chile

 A glaciated area at the headwaters of the Rio de la Colonia in southern Chile, December 2000

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A glaciated area at the headwaters of the Rio de la Colonia in southern Chile, December 2000Credit: Johnson Space Center

A real cloud pleaser

 The west coast of southern Africa, captured from the ISS, April 2019

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The west coast of southern Africa, captured from the ISS, April 2019Credit: NASA

Land and sea

 Tunisia’s second city and major port of Sfax, June 19, 2015

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Tunisia’s second city and major port of Sfax, June 19, 2015Credit: Johnson Space Center

And now, for desert

 In February 2014, this photo of the deserts of central Iran revealed an unusual geological pattern

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In February 2014, this photo of the deserts of central Iran revealed an unusual geological patternCredit: Johnson Space Center
Massive eye of Hurricane Dorian seen from the International Space Station

In other news, a Nasa astronauts snapped a stunning picture of London from the ISS last week.

Nasa has released a puzzling image of a nearly perfect ring galaxy.

And, Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites have come under fire once again for interrupting footage of a meteor shower.

Which amazing space view is your favourite? Let us know in the comments…


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