There are few experiences more awe-inspiring than gazing into the night sky and seeing thousands of twinkling lights shining down on us. Yet while the sight is amazing, the view from the other side – looking back down at Earth from outer space – is no less breathtaking. Stars, planets and galaxies all seem to be echoed in these nightscape photographs of terrestrial cities, taken from NASA’s International Space Station (ISS).
As we’ll see, some photos of cities captured from space look just as you’d imagine, while others are quite unexpected – but they’re all stunning in their own ways. Not that long ago, photographs like these would have been impossible. Yet nowadays, thanks to NASA’s orbiting International Space Station and its dedicated crew, we’re able to see these awesome views of our planet that very few of us will ever get to experience first-hand.
Kuwait City, Kuwait
This photograph of Kuwait City is remarkable thanks to the astonishing colors of the lights. The greens indicate the newer parts of the city, whereas the blue in the lower right-hand side belongs to an older area. From up here, it looks like the desert city has been neatly organized into sections, each of them marked by a different hue. This urban center is a shining island between the blackness of the Persian Gulf above it and the inhospitable desert below.