European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet recently published a series of images from the Earth’s International Space Station showing only water and clouds, making the planet look very different from what you normally would expect.
Thomas Gautier Pesquet is a French aerospace engineer and contributor to the European Space Agency’s Expedition 50 and 51.He recently returned to the International Space Station for six months via SpaceX Crew Dragon.
🌎 Our blue marble Sometimes there is no land to see, even from a distance of 400km from the crow’s nest.I miss all the sailors and explorers who travel the world on a lonely journey ⛵️. #MissionAlpha pic.twitter.com/sQ0F33DEZm
– Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 26, 2021
Pesquet recently shared three images of the world he obtained from what he calls the International Space Station’s “Crow’s Nest”. But it is likely to be a cupola observation module.
A dome is a small module designed for observation of off-station operations such as robotic activity, vehicle approach and space corridors. Six side windows and direct viewing windows offer spectacular views of the world and celestial bodies. The windows have shutters to prevent contamination and collision with orbital debris or small meteorites. The dome is home to a robotic workstation that controls Canadarm2.
As stated by Digital trendsThe reference to Pesquet’s world as “blue marble” is likely a reference to the world famous image taken by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have the best views of the Earth, and each member that rotates regularly has uploaded thousands of images over the years. Last year, NASA paid homage to our favorites of 20 Earth photos taken from the space station.
What makes Pesquet’s photos unique, among the many that have been shared over the years, is that this trio shows no land at all. Considering that the Earth was initially 70% composed of water, it seems strange that photographs in this view are so rare. However, the focus on land for those photographing planets from space is most likely because humans spend very little time in the openness of the sea, which often makes the average photographer or even the viewer less interested.
But Pesquet’s image is so unusual that it looks like a completely different world, or perhaps a shot from the 1995 sci-fi action movie started by Kevin Costner.
Scientists and astronauts have a wide selection of top-of-the-line cameras and lenses. But the best shot often requires the eye to capture the best shots that Pesquet clearly has in possession.
Image credit: Photo by Thomas Pesquet / ESA