Shanghai from Space

A night view of Shanghai from the International Space Station, 260 miles above Earth. The city's lights illuminate roads; the surrounding area is dark.
NASA/Jasmin Moghbeli

While the International Space Station orbited 260 miles above the East China Sea, NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli snapped this photo of Shanghai’s city lights and the Huangpu River flowing through downtown. Shanghai is the most populous city in China with a population of about 24.9 million.

The space station serves as a unique platform for observing Earth with both hands-on and automated equipment. Station crew members have produced hundreds of thousands of images, recording phenomena such as storms in real time, observing natural events such as volcanic eruptions as they happen, and providing input to ground personnel for programming automated Earth-sensing systems. Having a crew on board provides flexibility, a significant advantage over sensors on robotic spacecraft. Astronauts take images using handheld digital cameras, usually through windows in the station’s cupola, for Crew Earth Observations.

Image Credit: NASA/Jasmin Moghbeli

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