ISS028-E-24360
Browse image
Resolutions offered for this image:
1000 x 649 pixels 540 x 350 pixels 720 x 480 pixels 4256 x 2832 pixels 640 x 426 pixels
Cloud masks available for this image:

Spacecraft nadir point: 50.3° N, 3.0° W

Photo center point: 49.0° N, 1.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: East

Spacecraft Altitude: 201 nautical miles (372km)
Click for Google map
Width Height Annotated Cropped Purpose Links
1000 pixels 649 pixels No Yes Earth From Space collection Download Image
540 pixels 350 pixels Yes Yes Earth From Space collection Download Image
720 pixels 480 pixels Yes No NASA's Earth Observatory web site Download Image
4256 pixels 2832 pixels No No Download Image
640 pixels 426 pixels No No Download Image
Other options available:
Download Packaged File
Download a Google Earth KML for this Image
View photo footprint information
Image Caption: Northwestern Europe at Night

Several of the oldest cities of northwestern Europe are highlighted in this astronaut photograph taken from the International Space Station (ISS) at 00:25:26 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). While the landscape is dotted with numerous clusters of lights from individual urban areas, the metropolitan areas of London (United Kingdom), Paris (France), Brussels (Belgium) and Amsterdam (Netherlands) stand out due to their large light "footprints". The metropolitan area of Milan, Italy is also visible at image lower left. While each of these cities is, or has been, the capital of a kingdom, republic, or empire--Paris and London have been all three--Brussels is also the capital city of the European Union.

This astronaut photograph was taken with a short camera lens, providing the large field of view recorded in the image. To give a sense of scale, the centers of the London and Paris metropolitan areas are approximately 340 kilometers distant from each other. The image is also oblique, or taken looking outwards at an angle from the ISS; this tends to foreshorten the image, making the distance between Paris and Milan (~640 kilometers) appear less than that of Paris to London.

In contrast to the land surface defined by the city lights, the English Channel at image right presents a uniform dark appearance. Similarly, the Alps (image bottom center) to the north of Milan are also largely devoid of lights. While much of the atmosphere was clear at the time the image was taken, the lights of the Brussels metropolitan area are dimmed by thin cloud cover.