Space Photography

  • Released Thursday, May 28th, 2015
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:49PM

As part of the Apollo program in the 1960s and 1970s, NASA astronauts captured spectacular images of the moon’s surface from space using handheld cameras. Today’s astronaut corps are keeping up with tradition, but instead snapping jaw-dropping photos of Earth from the International Space Station. Chris Hadfield, a Canadian Space Agency astronaut who served on the space station for five months beginning in 2012, was one of the most prolific—and popular—space photographers in recent years. Each day he would spend several hours taking photographs from one of the space station’s observation windows, documenting our changing world from 250 miles above. Here we present five of our favorite photos shot by Hadfield during his 2,336 orbits around the planet.

An abstract portrait of the Australian outback.

An abstract portrait of the Australian outback.

Thunderstorm cloud tops viewed from above.

Thunderstorm cloud tops viewed from above.

Crisscrossing contrails caused by jet traffic over San Francisco.

Crisscrossing contrails caused by jet traffic over San Francisco.

The U.S.-Mexico border in eastern California.

The U.S.-Mexico border in eastern California.

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Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Earth Observatory
Images courtesy of Chris Hadfield