French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the ESA (European Space Agency) captured a stunning photo of the Earth’s edge seen from the side that shows city lights in contrast to starlight. In late April, he boarded with three other astronauts on his way to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Alpha mission.
The photo was posted on Pasquet’s Twitter profile, where he shares several other records made from space, such as the contrast of colors and shapes on the edge of Saint-Laurent, a city in the province of Quebec, Canada. The ISS is traveling at about 30,000 kilometers an hour, which can make good photography difficult.
“These pictures are difficult to take. You need a long time to prepare the shutter [parte da câmera que serve para controlar o tempo e a entrada de luz]. So not only do you, as a photographer, have to be extremely still holding the camera, but also the Space Station moves so fast that there will be some movement anyway… the complexities of space photography,” he said.
Astronomer Juan Carlos Muñoz retweeted the image shared by the astronaut and explained that the orange band shown in the photo is due to the natural emission of sodium atoms in the upper layers of the atmosphere, originating from the burning of meteors. When in contact with the atmosphere, these atoms have an increase in energy level, creating a layer of glow visible from space.
*Intern of the R7 under the supervision of Pablo Marques