Have you woken up early to catch a spectacular sunrise, or ventured to higher elevations and watched the sun set over the horizon? There’s something magical about seeing the head of our solar system hard at work — and perhaps no one can attest that better than astronauts themselves. Thankfully, today’s technology allows them to easily share their experience with us, and NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli has done just that. For our viewing pleasure: Moghbeli’s a jaw-dropping image of the sun’s first rays illuminating Earth’s atmosphere.
The photograph was taken from the International Space Station as it orbited 260 miles above the central United States on November 10. In it, we can see the lights of Chicago as they are outlined by Lake Michigan on the left of the photo.
Also seen on the far right, are the bright lights of the Dallas/Forth Worth metropolitan area shining through the clouds.
Another image sees Earth’s airglow outlining the planet’s horizon with the Moon above. Airglow is a faint emission of light by the planetary atmosphere, an optical phenomenon causes the night sky never to be completely dark, even after the effects of starlight and diffused sunlight are removed.
Moghbeli, a U.S. Marine Corps test pilot, has picked out amazing views including huge storms during her International Space Station mission.