The metropolitan area of Milan (or Milano) illuminates the Italian
region of Lombardy in a pattern evocative of a patchwork quilt. The city
of Milan forms a dense cluster of lights in this astronaut photograph,
with brilliant white lights indicating the historic center of the city
where the Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) is located.
Large dark regions to the south (image left) contain mostly
agricultural fields. To the north, numerous smaller cities are
interspersed with agricultural fields, giving way to forested areas as
one approaches the Italian Alps (not shown). Low, patchy clouds diffuse
the city lights, producing isolated regions that appear blurred. The
Milan urban area is located within the Po Valley,
a large plain bordered by the Adriatic Sea to the east-southeast, the
Italian Alps to the north, and the Ligurian Sea and Appenines Mountains
to the south.
Astronaut photograph ISS026-E-28829
was acquired on February 22, 2011, with a Nikon D3S digital camera
using an effective 200 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth
Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory,
Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 26 crew. The image has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab
to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest
value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely
available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and
cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC.