How London looks at at night from 250 miles above earth: Capital city is a ‘spider web’ of lights in stunning image captured by a NASA astronaut aboard the International Space Station
- The image of London shows the Thames as a dark line between the bright lights
- It was taken by Dr Jessica Meir from the International Space Station over the UK
- The image was taken on 20th November 2019 at about 8:40pm GMT
- Dr Meir said it reminded her of ‘spider webs’, ‘shattered glass’ or ‘fractal art’
A stunning image showing the bright lights of London has been captured by a NASA astronaut on the International Space Station.
The photograph was taken by Jessica Meir from the window of the station and shows the Thames weaving a dark path through a web of bright lights.
‘Behold the bright lights of fair London town! Views of city lights from above evoke images of spider webs, shattered glass, or fractal art’, Dr Meir said in a Tweet.
‘Many fond memories with my relatives and friends in this lovely city – thinking of you all from low Earth orbit.’
This photograph was taken by Jessica Meir from the window of the station and shows the Thames creating a crack through a web of bright white and yellow lights
The image was taken at about 8:41pm GMT on the 20th of November as the International Space Station was flying over the United Kingdom.
It was tweeted on the 26th of November by Dr Meir who reflected on ‘fond memories’ she had of her time in London.
She talked about enjoying spending time in the UK capital with relatives and friends. and said she was thinking of them ‘from low Earth orbit’.
The brightest spots are in the City of London and Canary Wharf, while the Thames, which resembles a black snake, cuts the capital in two.
Meir left Earth for the International Space Station on the 25th of September to work as a flight engineer.
She performed her first spacewalk in October alongside Christina Koch to replace a faulty battery charging discharging unit.
While on the walk the pair each took a ‘selfie’ of them inside their spacesuit to commemorate the first all-female spacewalk.
The first woman to complete a spacewalk was Russian astronaut Svetlana Yevgenyevna Savitskaya in 1984 – a total of 15 women have ever spacewalked, including Meir and Koch
On Friday, October 18th, Koch and Meir (pictured) ventured outside of the International Space Station (ISS) at 07:38am ET (12:38pm BST) to begin the first all-female spacewalk ever. The selfies show the pair fixing parts of the ISS and floating weightless in space
Meir is expected to return to Earth sometime in the Spring of next year when her tour as part of Expedition 61 and 62 comes to an end.
Due to holding dual American and Swedish citizenship she is the first Swedish woman to go into space.
You can see the ISS from Earth on a clear night. It’s the third brightest object in the night sky and easy to spot if you know where and when to look up, NASA says.
‘Visible to the naked eye, it looks like a fast-moving plane only much higher and traveling thousands of miles an hour faster!’
Dr Jessica Meir described London under streetlights as looking like a piece of fractal art in her Tweet showing the picture she had taken from space
The International Space Station orbits about 250miles above the Earth and will orbit the planet about 16 times per day.
The ISS was launched on 20 November 1998 and features a number of different modules built by the various nations involved in the project.
It has two main segments – the Russian Orbital Segment and the United States Orbital Segment and is expected to operate until 2030.
The United States, United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Brazil, Japan, Norway and Russia all participate in the International Space Station (pictured over Earth) project
When he was on board the International Space Station in 2016 Major Tim Peake posted lots of pictures of the UK from space.
His images included one very similar to the picture taken by Dr Meir showing the lights of London looking like a spiders web branching out from the Thames.
At the time Major Peake said: ‘I’d rather be up here… but only just!’
Major Tim Peake captured a similar, equally stunning image of London (pictured here) while he was abord the ISS in 2016
WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION?
The International Space Station (ISS) is a $100 billion (£80 billion) science and engineering laboratory that orbits 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.
It has been permanently staffed by rotating crews of astronauts and cosmonauts since November 2000.
Research conducted aboard the ISS often requires one or more of the unusual conditions present in low Earth orbit, such as low-gravity or oxygen.
ISS studies have investigated human research, space medicine, life sciences, physical sciences, astronomy and meteorology.
The US space agency, Nasa, spends about $3 billion (£2.4 billion) a year on the space station program, a level of funding that is endorsed by the Trump administration and Congress.
A U.S. House of Representatives committee that oversees Nasa has begun looking at whether to extend the program beyond 2024.
Alternatively the money could be used to speed up planned human space initiatives to the moon and Mars.