Pesquet, aeronautical engineer and pilot at the European Space Agency, is a member of the SpaceX Crew-2 mission and a member of NASA’s Expedition 65, which launched to the station last April. It’s his second spaceflight, and during his mission he gained a reputation, in part, for providing some utterly surreal images of our home planet.
From the dome of the International Space Station, Bisquet’s dramatic view of Earth can be seen, as city lights “compete” with the light from distant stars.
While the orange band around the Earth, according to astronomer Juan Carlos Munoz, is the emission of sodium atoms, about 90 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.
There is also a faint green stripe directly behind it if you stare hard enough, and this is caused by the excitement of the oxygen atoms.
It’s not easy to get a picture like this and Pesquet notes he missed his share of the shots.
Commenting on the photo, the astronaut explains: “Not only do you as a photographer have to be very still holding the camera, but the space station is also moving so fast that there is some movement anyway.”